A KZN grandmother has been accused of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after she allegedly burned her 13-year-old grandchild with an electric iron.
The Umhlali woman, whose name is being withheld to protect her grandchild, allegedly burnt her grandson, on his legs and arms and his face.
The boy is in hospital and being attended to by social workers.
According to the child’s school principal, who reported the incident to the police, the boy had a burn scar on his forehead that was noticed by his teacher.
He said the boy had been absent from school for at least a week because of the injuries.
The principal said a teacher had asked the boy about a scar on his forehead and the boy told him he was burned by his grandmother.
He was taken to the principal’s office to report the incident.
“After seeing burn injuries on his hands I told him to take off his shirt and his arms were severely burnt.
“I told him to lift up his pants and I was shocked to see that both legs were burnt,” said the principal.
The principal phoned the boy’s grandparents and asked them to come to school. When they arrived, he asked them about the burn injuries.
The principal told the Daily News that both grandparents denied they were responsible and said the boy had burnt himself.
“I said no ways could he have burnt himself. I don’t believe a person in their normal senses would do that.
“Do you think a child would burn himself until his skin comes off? I was terribly upset,” he said.
The principal phoned the police to come to the school.
“Police were shocked when they interviewed the child.
“You could see from where he was burnt that he was trying to protect himself as he was burnt on the arms and not on the chest,” said the principal.
“Blood was still coming out the wounds that had raw flesh on the surface,” he said.
The principal said the boy had whip marks on his back.
He said the boy had been staying with his grandparents for about a year and a half. He had been moved from his father after it was reported that his father had been abusing him.
The boy’s mother died a few years ago.
The principal said he had spent past week looking for a place of safety.
“This child has never displayed any attitude or arrogance since he came to the school.
“He is a very respectful child who does not misbehave. He is a victim of serious abuse,” he said.
The principal said he would not rest until someone was prosecuted.
“I had to stand up for the child and ask the granny (how it was) that this child just took an iron and extended it to the other hand and burnt himself,” said the principal.
Police said a case against the 50-year-old woman had been opened with Verulam SAPS last week. No arrest had been made.