A father’s plea to see his children, which led him to stage an 11-day hunger strike outside the Department of Social Development, is bearing fruit.
Solomon Mondlane, who has not seen his children for almost three years, tugged at the heartstrings of the public when he put up a tent outside the department. He camped there in a bid to get assistance to see his two children, who moved in with their grandparents after their mother died.
Mondlane said he was glad his action had had an impact and the matter was now being taken up by lawyers on a pro-bono basis.
He said the effects of 11 days without food were still there, but it was worth it, as it had led to the desired impact and would set in motion a new wave of fathers finally standing up for their children.
“I have met with the department’s social workers as well as the men’s forum to discuss the matter and they are looking into the issue.
“We are dealing with corruption that alienates fathers from their children even when the father wants to be there. There have been manipulations for a long time but finally, I was heard.
“I had to go all out for my children. This system is not in the best interests of the children it makes them victims and their rights are trampled on.”
Mondlane said he would have his euphoric moment when he is able to hug his children. “That moment will erase the pain and tears I cried. That is all I am longing for and with this bold step, which may have hampered my health, I am content.
“I have a 2-month-old baby, but I cannot abandon the other two because their mother is no longer with us. I had to and will fight for them.
“I am happy that my story exposed the wrong things that were done in this entire process and it is being probed and we will take it to court.”
The story garnered significant attention on social media, with many fathers coming forward to support Mondlane.
He said he was thankful to everyone for their support.