JOHANNESBURG - A father is trying to get his daughters back after they were sent to the Netherlands for adoption without his consent.
The two girls, aged six and eight at the time, were to live at a children's home outside Durban when their mother died in 2009.
Their father, a gardener, says he visited them there.
But when he returned in 2013 he was denied entry and in 2014, his children were sent out of the country.
"I miss my children and I want them back and if somebody can help me I would appreciate that and I would be thankful," said Erick Bhengu, children's father.
Bhengu is a frustrated man.
His two teenage daughters were sent abroad for adoption without his knowledge or consent.
In 2009, the mother of the two girls died, and they were forced to live with their grandmother.
"What I can remember is that we used to play together and they would always ask everything about their mother but eventually I had to tell them the truth about her. I'm sure they know I'm still alive. They're aware that it's only their mother who passed away because if they were to come here they could say, 'this is our father'."
Birth certificates are the only memories Bhengu has. The children were taken away from their grandmother because of poor living conditions.
Court records show they were put up for adoption in 2013, and were allocated to a Dutch family in the Netherlands in 2014.
"There should have been an agreement for such a decision to be taken and since the [birth] certificates are here with me, it's really confusing and I think there was something wrong... maybe they sold the children," said Bhengu.
The Social Development Department in the province says it will investigate.
"In terms of the Children's Act the parents must give consent but there are circumstances where the consent of the parent is not required and if that consent is not required or the circumstances require that the consent is not needed from the parents then the adoption continues," said Buyisiwe Sophazi, KwaZulu-Natal Social Development.
Bhengu simply longs to see his daughters again.