Zulu boy 'must return home'

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A boy brought to Britain for adoption by a white woman must be returned to his Zulu parents and homeland, where he could face a life of poverty, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

The court decided yesterday that the 10-year-old, a ward of the court who can only be named as "P", must go even though he will grieve over the woman he knows as his mother and his adopted sisters.

His natural mother worked as a housekeeper and nanny for the woman who brought him to Britain four years ago because she feared political turmoil and eventual civil war in South Africa. The woman, who is a British citizen with an Afrikaans background, wanted the boy to be adopted as a member of her family and live in Maida Vale, north-west London, and eventually be educated at a leading British school.

But Lord Justice Neill and Lord Justice Ward came to the "difficult and anxious" decision that the boy should be returned immediately to his parents to relearn his Zulu language and roots in his native Leboa, Transvaal.

They also warned the woman that he must not return to visit her in Britain this year, to give him a chance to settle back in his country and adjust to the "very different" life there.

The judgment came after the woman had appealed against a High Court order that the boy should be returned to South Africa next year and his mother had cross-appealed for his immediate return.