A trust fund is to be established for a four-year-old girl who was seen on a video being kicked and slapped, allegedly by her mother.
This is according to Kelvin Walker, a director at Thorpe and Hands Incorporated, a Durban-based law firm representing the child’s biological father.
The father, the mother and her boyfriend, who were both arrested for the the girl’s attempted murder, are not being named to protect the child’s identity.
The video of the assault went viral on social media last week.
The mother reported to the Phoenix police that her boyfriend had assaulted the child, but it later emerged that she had also abused the child.
Both have been charged with attempted murder and are expected back in court next month.
Walker yesterday said he had initially been approached to investigate the possibility of acting on behalf of the father in the custody proceedings.
“When I saw the video, my heart broke. It’s the most horrendous thing I have ever seen. So I agreed to do it; I felt that it was my civic duty and I’m happy to help,” he said.
Walker said the child's father had told him about the offers of donations he had been getting.
With social media already questioning the part he played in the matter, Walker advised his client not to accept any donations into his personal account.
“I suggested that anyone who wanted to contribute do so in a trust account which is solely and completely for the benefit of the minor child. He happily agreed because he didn’t know what to do,” he said.
He added they were in the process of approaching the courts for a trust deed.
Regarding fighting for custody of the child, Walker said that would wait.
“We will approach the high court for custody only once the abuse matter has been finalised. Let that process go through first, where all facts will be laid bare. There are a series of reports coming in from all angles,” he said.
In social media posts, questions have been asked about the perceived “sudden concern by the father for the child".
About those who believed the trust account was a ploy by the father to make money off his child’s suffering, Walker said he would not have access to or control of the money.
He said it would be strictly for the child’s welfare, particularly the potential years of counselling she would need.
“She is in hospital now and is being cared for, but when she gets out she will need extensive psychological counselling going forward. I take nothing away from what the state provides, but we want the best for her,” he said.
Walker challenged private child psychologists to offer their services for free for the benefit of the child.
Meanwhile, police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the boyfriend had handed himself over to police, and his bail was then revoked.
It is understood that a mob torched his car outside his parents' house last week.
The mother is still out on bail of R3 000.