A six-year-old South African boy has been whisked out of the country on a second passport, applied for by his mother, without his father’s consent.
Arneten Velden has had sleepless nights imagining where his only child, Aiden, might be after the boy was flown out of OR Tambo International airport.
He is pinning his hopes of being reunited with his son on a Hague Convention Application, filed at the Office of the Family Advocate this week.
Ten Velden, 48, became suspicious in March when the child’s mother, 31-year-old Rosemarie Langley, requested his consent to take their son to Mauritius. She said there were job opportunities for her there and Aiden would have a better life. He refused.
He said he had Aiden’s passport but checked at Home Affairs in George if she had applied for another one. She had, claiming the first had been “lost in a move”. He asked Home Affairs to cancel the new passport.
Ten Velden realised something was wrong when he could not reach mother or child and discovered Aiden had been removed from school. He filed a Missing Persons Report.
Travel records from the Immigration Inspectorate indicate the child left the country from OR Tambo airport on August 5.
Authorities in Mauritius have been alerted to find the boy.
The Cape High Court had granted Ten Velden temporary custody of the child.
Department of Home Affairs spokesman Mantshele Tau said: “We have instituted an investigation into the case. We hope to conclude the investigation soon.”