KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Mrs Nonhlanhla Khoza, has vowed that government would not tolerate child abuse in society. MEC Khoza said this in light of a spate of horrible cases of child abuse. These children had suffered abuse in the hands of relatives over the past two weeks.
A seven-year-old boy was brutally assaulted by his stepbrother in Mehlomnyama area, on the South Coast, while this week a teenage girl also suffered abuse from her biological mother in Vryheid, northern KwaZulu-Natal.
A 17-year-old girl was allegedly beaten up by her mother who tied both her legs and arms with a rope. The girl was rushed to hospital unconscious after a neighbour called the police.
Today, MEC Khoza, accompanied by the Department of Social Development Deputy Director-General, Mrs Maphili Mhlongo and councillors of Abaqulusi Local Municipality, visited the girl in hospital.
The badly-bruised teenager was lying on her back and could not turn as she had sustained deep wounds on her body and face.
MEC Khoza said she was failing to comprehend what might have angered the perpetrator to resort to such a horrific act.
She reiterated government's commitment to protecting children from abuse.“We have resolved that even after being discharged from hospital, social workers should ensure that the child should be accommodated in a safe place.
"This child should not return to that family because family members have shown that they don't care about her. We can see that this child was assaulted with the consent of everyone in her homestead. The pepetrator was not working alone and therefore the child cannot be safe in that environment,” said MEC Khoza.
She said perpetrators of women and children abuse would not escape the full might of the law.
“Police, prosecutors and courts are expected to make sure that criminals are arrested and convicted of crimes against children. We also want communities to play their role because such incidents of child abuse occur in their neighbourhood,” she added.
MEC Khoza applauded the neighbours who alerted the police before the girls even lost her life. “We find solace that the police arrested the mother and she doesn’t deserve bail. Equally, we are happy with the work done by social workers and the medical team at Vryheid District Hospital. When the child was admitted to hospital she was unable to walk due to intense injuries in her body, but the medical team that deals with her indicated that she was recovering well. We have assigned a social worker to assist the child."
MEC also handed over food vouchers to local communities, as part of mitigating the effects of Covid-19. Beneficiaries were farm dwellers in Ward 08 and Ward 17 of Abaqulusi Local Municipality, Emondlo area.
ISSUED BY THE KWAZULU-NATAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT