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Toddler in critical condition after man torches shack

Crime & Courts
Johannesburg - A 3-year-old boy is in critical condition after he suffered burns when a shack he was sleeping in was set alight in Kliptown.

And a 30-year-old man is recovering after he was stabbed in the same yard, allegedly by the same assailant.

Martha Baloyi, 60, said she and other tenants were sitting around a fire when a man stormed into the yard demanding to see his girlfriend on Monday evening.

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Martha Baloyi, the grandmother of a 3-year-old boy who was burnt when the shack he was sleeping in was set alight during an altercation on Monday night in Kliptown, Soweto.Picture: Itumeleng English

“The girls I was sitting with made that girl aware that her boyfriend, who looked angry, was in the yard and was looking for her,” Baloyi said.

She said the assailant proceeded to his girlfriend’s shack but could not find her.

He then allegedly went into Baloyi’s shack where Neo Chabalala, 3, was asleep.

“He went in there with a small paraffin lamp and he threw it inside. We don’t know if he was throwing it at his girlfriend but then we saw flames in the shack in which Neo was sleeping in."

“He didn’t know that Neo was in there,” she said.

Baloyi said the assailant tried to flee soon after the flames grew, but her son tried to stop him.

“He then swore at my son when he tried to stop him from running away."

“He took out a knife and stabbed my son nine times,” Baloyi said.

“My son tried to chase after him, but he couldn’t catch up and passed out by the railroad, where a security officer found him and took him to the police station.”

Asked how her grandson and son were doing, Baloyi said: “It hurts to see my son and his nephew in pain, especially because they were completely innocent and had nothing to do with whatever it was that was happening between the couple.”

Baloyi said doctors informed her that Neo was recovering well while Tinyiko’s stab wounds were being treated.

Police spokesperson Captain Hitler Ngwenya said he was not aware of the matter as it had not been reported, but urged the members of the community to come forward with information.

The Star

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