Cape Town - Langa residents have expressed their anger after learning that a woman accused of scalding a 4-year-old child with boiling water was released from jail.
Asanda Makaluza reportedly heard the child and his friend banging on the gate of her Settler’s home in Langa on June 24. She left her home with a kettle and allegedly doused the child with boiling water. The boy was left with burns on his face, torso and arms.
The victim’s family said they went to confront Makaluza, and she told them that he had been trespassing. Days later, her father went to the boy’s mom and apologised on his daughter’s behalf. The family told the Cape Argus they forgave her, but she must still pay for what she did.
After the intervention of EFF activist Mbulelo Dwane, Makaluza was arrested on July 6. She appeared twice in court and her bail application was denied on July 14.
On Tuesday, on hearing that the accused managed to get bail of R3 000 in the high court after her bid was rejected by the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court, residents were furious and wanted to burn her home.
“We managed to calm the people and explained that she exercised her right to apply for bail. She had every right to do that, the residents were just shocked because the last time she appeared in court, her bail application was denied.”
Community member Nokuthula Mbiko said they were under the impression the accused would remain in custody.
“As the community we were surprised that she was out on bail, we don’t know how it was done. We are not happy, we feel that in South Africa money talks, and if you are poor the justice system will fail you. The victim is from a squatter camp in Joe Slovo. Our children are not safe on the streets now because we don’t know what she’s going to do, we don’t know her next move.”
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Makaluza was facing a charge of attempted murder.
“She was released on bail after she appealed at the high court. Her case has been postponed until October 25 for a regional court date.”
Action Society spokesperson Kaylynn Palm said the victim’s family was never informed about the bail.
“Shortly after her arrest, she was granted bail of a measly R3 000 in September. The burn victim’s family was never informed of her release.
“We believe that the justice system needs to take a stronger stance when dealing with perpetrators of violence against children. Granting them bail sends the wrong message. We lost 293 children to murder in the first quarter of this year alone,” Palm said.
“That is three children per day. Every day four children narrowly escape death due to attempted murder. Every day 16 children are assaulted with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. According to the boy’s mother, the toddler rushed home, crying in shock and pain, with scars covering his body.
“She told Action Society that he was playing with his friends when the incident happened. The Langa community took to the streets in anger and marched to the police station, demanding that the woman be arrested. Action Society will fight with the family to the bitter end to bring justice to this young and innocent boy."