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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Teen tied up and badly beaten by her mother

Nonhlanhla Khoza MEC for Social Development in KZN. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

Nonhlanhla Khoza MEC for Social Development in KZN. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 9, 2021

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Durban - A TEENAGE girl from Vryheid was allegedly assaulted by her mother, with a sjambok or hose, for disobeying her in Vryheid last Friday.

This was the second case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm involving a child in the province in a week.

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Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza described the assault as horrific.

Khoza said it was alleged that the 17-year-old girl was badly assaulted by her mother, who had accused her of disobeying her instruction to not go to school. It is believed that the mother was annoyed that the girl went to school on Thursday, ignoring her instruction.

The mother allegedly tied her hands with a rope on Friday and assaulted her with a hose, until neighbours intervened by calling the police. A badly injured girl was rushed to hospital for treatment.

“It is very disheartening to learn about this incident. Children are supposed to feel safe in the hands of the parents, but we have noticed that some parents don't show love for their children. It is hard to believe that a mother can tie up a child and beat her up so badly,” Khoza said.

Social Development sent social workers to the home to check on the well-being of the children, and they were also asked to check on the child who was in hospital.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was being investigated by Ngome police.

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Gwala confirmed that on March 5, 2021, at 4.30am, a 17-year-old child was woken up by a known suspect who allegedly assaulted her with a sjambok, leaving her with injuries all over her body.

University of Pretoria child law expert Professor Ann Skelton said the mother would have had the sense of reasonable chastisement, but based on the details, the mother had exceeded these bounds.

Skelton said the new laws on corporal punishment did not even enter in this case because of the extent of the abuse.

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In September 2019, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that the common law defence of “reasonable and moderate chastisement” was unconstitutional, and that resulted in the banning all corporal punishment of children.

Recently a seven-year-old boy was allegedly repeatedly assaulted with a wet towel by his 17-year-old stepbrother. Photographs of his bruised body were seen circulating on social media.

The boy was taken to hospital and then moved to a place of safety. His stepbrother was arrested and appeared in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court last week. The probation officer submitted a report and was excused from appearing in court.

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The case was adjourned until March 26, 2021 and the probation officer’s recommendation for diversion was not approved. The case will be dealt with in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

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