The Department of Social Development has removed 17 children from the Al Noor Child and Youth Care Centre in Woodstock, in Cape Town.

The move follows allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the centre.

Department spokesperson, Esther Lewis, says they’re also in the process of suspending the home’s registration pending the final outcome of investigations.

Lewis says children are currently receiving social support, including assessment and counselling.

“Criminal charges have also been laid with the SAPS against the alleged perpetrators. Due to the seriousness of the allegations, involving a number of children at the home, the department has deemed it necessary to remove and place the children in temporary alternative accommodation in terms of section 173 of the Children’s Act to ensure their safety while criminal investigations are underway.”