Pulane Nakeli and Andrew Letho whose 6-year-old son Karabo was bitten by a pit bull while playing in the street. Picture: Vusi Adonis
Pulane Nakeli and Andrew Letho whose 6-year-old son Karabo was bitten by a pit bull while playing in the street. Picture: Vusi Adonis

Boy still in critical condition three weeks after dog attack

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Aug 28, 2017

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Pretoria - One of the boys attacked by pit bulls in Atteridgeville three weeks ago remains in critical condition in hospital.

The other two victims are recovering at home, their parents have said.

Christina Masemola of the SPCA said inspectors visited the owners.

The dogs had reportedly been put down. However, the Pretoria News was unable to independently confirm this, as the owners declined to comment, saying they were not ready to speak to the media.

The parents of Karabo Nakedi, 6, said they were anxiously awaiting the return of their little boy from Kalafong Hospital. Karabo is reportedly struggling to recover from the attack.

The other two - Tshepo Mashabane, 11, and Amanda Kolweai, 4 - spent a few days in ICU at the same hospital and were discharged a few days later. Their wounds are believed to be healing satisfactorily.

Karabo’s mother Portia Nakedi said her son had undergone surgery several times, and doctors were worried as his wounds were still bleeding. Nakedi said: “The bite marks are very deep. The doctors said they were worried he might have fluid in his kidneys or a problem with his ribs. He has undergone four surgeries and it’s painful for us to see him in so much pain.”

It was difficult for her to keep her composure while her first-born child was in ICU, she said. But the family were thankful that Karabo was responding to communication from both doctors and his parents, despite his road to recovery being difficult and slow.

His father, Andrew Letho, said he was deeply worried that his son would later need to see a psychologist to deal with the trauma the boys went through. The scars ran deeper than could be dealt with medically, he said.

Letho also said that what pained them was watching how doctors had to constantly clean him up to prevent the wounds from getting infected and causing further complications.

In addition to worrying about the recovery of their boy, the parents said they were stressed about the social and legal implications of the incident.

The parents of the three boys claimed the children were playing in the street as they normally did when the dogs - normally kept behind locked gates - got out.

According to reports from all parents and others along the streets, the dogs had escaped from their yard when the gate was left open briefly.

They alleged that the dogs ran down the street and attacked the children who were playing in the street.

Letho claimed they were inside their house and Karabo was playing soccer in the street with other children.

Nakedi added: “I heard people screaming outside. When I rushed out I found one of the dogs with its jaws still locked in my only child. I quickly picked up a bottle and hit it; only then did the dog let him go.”

The owners apologised to them, the parents said, but Karabo’s parents said they were still too hurt by the incident. A case had been opened with the police.

Tshepo’s mother, Eliza Mashabane, said even though the family were trying to move on, they were hurt that no one seemed to care about what had happened to their children.

She said they had received no feedback from the police on the case. “It’s hurtful to see your child hurt so badly and struggle without any assistance from anyone,” she said.

Joyce Kolweai said all her daughter Amanda wanted was to buy potato chips from the local spaza shop when she was bitten by the dogs.

She was hoping Karabo would fully recover soon so the families could focus on finding a way forward on the case.

“The only thing we can do as parents is to help our children deal with the aftermath. Every time she hears a dog bark, she runs back into the house now.”

The police had not responded on a request for an update regarding the case by late on Sunday.

Pretoria News

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