More of boy’s leg to be cut off

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Kabelo Mokgweetse from Hartswater was assaulted and left with permanent damage to his feet after escaping from an initiation school in Pampierstad.The initiation schools have been shut down after the DFA exposed the horrors. Photo: Liz�ll Muller

Kimberley - Little relief has been availed to the impoverished family of Kabelo Mokgweetse, 17, who is scheduled for further amputation to his right leg at Kimberley Hospital Complex on Friday.

He suffered severe nerve and muscle damage after his mentors at the initiation school in Pampierstad burnt his feet with fire, after he escaped from the bush camp in search of food in November last year.

He was also beaten with a sjambok and wooden sticks until he lost consciousness when he refused to buy dagga for the elders at the school.

Parts of both of Mokgweetse’s feet had to be amputated while his right leg was amputated up until his ankle last week.

His father, Johannes Selekiso, indicated that it appeared as if the infection was spreading.

Pieces of wood and stones are still being removed from Mokgweetse’s wounds.

He is no longer able to walk and Selekiso said they were struggling to look after him as they were unemployed.

They have resorted to transporting him around in an ill-fitting wheelchair that has become too small for him.

Selekiso and his wife also had to hitch-hike to Pampierstad to attend the court case where two accused were granted R500 bail after they were charged with attempted murder.

Spokesman for the Department of Social Development, Tebogo Mokae, said social workers on Thursday visited the family.

“The delay in conducting the assessment was due to the difficulty in locating the family in Bonita Park, in Hartswater.

“The South African Social Service Agency (Sassa) will register Mokgweetse for a disability grant, as he has completed his schooling and also suffered terrible injuries.

“Social workers are also liaising with the Department of Health to arrange for a suitable wheelchair.”

He added that counselling would be offered to both Mokgweetse and his family.

“The broader community also needs to be informed on the rights of children. The family and witnesses, who may be required to testify, will be accompanied by a social worker and transport will be arranged to attend the court cases in Pampierstad.”

Mokae added that anyone who wished to assist Mokgweetse could contact the department’s district office on 053 807 5900.

Spokeswoman for the Department of Health, Lulu Mxekezo, stated that due to patient confidentiality they were unable to disclose details of the 17-year-old patient’s treatment.

She indicated that counselling and assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, were provided for patients undergoing amputations.

“The provision of some of these devices may take longer to become available as medical conditions differ in nature and severity.”

Mxekezo added that prosthetic devices were provided to patients if necessary.

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