Cape Town - A Cape Flats mom believes her 15-year-old son unknowingly suffered brain damage following a brutal beating by school bullies.
Shaquill Maarman suffered from vomiting and blinding headaches for three weeks after the attack with a knuckle ring and a bicycle chain in August, before he passed away on Saturday.
On Thursday, Faeza Maarman, 50, got the death certificate of her son who was in Grade 9 at Strandfontein High School.
According to the document, the cause of his death was under investigation.
Faeza says on Sunday 27 August in Clyde Road, Bayview, near an open field, Shaquill was hit with a bicycle chain and the bicycle had been flung against his head.
She says this was the last attack on her son “who has been bullied for years”.
The mom denied rumours that the fight was caused by a drug deal gone wrong.
“If there was any drug involvement, I would have seen the physical signs but there was nothing, even in his death or his behaviour before,” she insists.
She says in two previous incidents, her son had a dirty broom brushed over his head, and there was also an attempt to set his school bag alight.
“This was bullying and my son was someone who didn’t really speak out,” Faeza says.
“It was the Sunday prior to Eid and they beat him with a knuckle ring as he walked. A witness told us afterwards that a bike was flung against his head.”
She says shortly afterwards he started complaining of headaches and nausea.
“He complained of headaches and I got him tablets at the chemist and then I took him to the day hospital in Mitchells Plain and they said there is no concussion,” she explains.
On September 11, they went back to hospital after Shaquill began vomiting and was told it could be his sinuses.
“There was swelling on his forehead and we didn’t even know there was no oxygen and that his skull was cracked and that there was soft tissue damage,” she says.
By Thursday, Shaquill was disoriented and on Friday, he was rushed to Mitchells Plain District Hospital and then to Groote Schuur Hospital.
“He was brain dead by then, without us knowing.
“He had seizures and couldn’t breathe. On Saturday 16 September, the machines were switched off,” she says.
Faeza says she hopes her son’s death will not be in vain: “I said if one good thing can come out of this, it would be for this not to happen to another.
“I am happy my son is not in pain anymore, but I feel I could have hugged him more.”
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, says they have received no official report from the hospital or morgue as yet.