Teenager charged with assault for alleged bullying attack at a mosque
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Durban: A Port Shepstone teenager is facing charges of assault after he allegedly punched, kicked and body-slammed a younger boy at a local mosque.
The victim, a 14-year-old from Albersville, injured his spine in the incident. He now suffers from a partial loss of movement in his left leg and, as a result, is unable to walk.
He is a Grade 8 pupil at the Port Shepstone Islamic School, also in Albersville.
The incident occurred on May 28 and the victim was discharged from the hospital five days later.
A video of the assault was posted on social media. In the video clip, a third boy is seen sitting at the door.
The two boys appear to be preparing to fight.The victim is tripped by the older boy and falls to the floor. The two roll on the floor. They get back on their feet. The older boy holds the victim in a headlock. He then slams him to the floor and kicks him twice. The victim struggles to get up.
A family spokesperson, said the school and the mosque were on the same property.
He said the victim had been attending the Friday prayer with his father.
"According to the teenager when the prayer was over the teen accosted him outside the mosque. He was taken to another area in the mosque where he was beaten up. His father had been waiting in the car park for him when he saw his son = stagger out of the mosque and fall to the ground. He was in pain and disorientated. He was taken home and then rushed to hospital."
He said the teenager told his father that the teen had allegedly been bullying him for several months.
"He said the teen would hit him on the head and pull his pants down at school. The father said his son had previously informed him about the bullying but he did not realise how serious it was.
“From what we know the older boy claimed that he had bullied his younger cousin. We have opened a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm at the Port Shepstone Police Station. They must investigate.
"We want justice. We want the truth to come out. He could have been left paralyzed by this attack. From the video, it appears that the attacker knew full well what he was doing. After the body slam to the floor, he gave up the fight but the attack continued.”
The family spokesperson said the victim’s mother suffered a mild stroke on Saturday.
"This has taken a toll on the family. He has five other siblings who are worried about him. They are currently receiving counselling from the Department of Social Development.
“His mother cannot bear to see her child in the state he is in. When he was discharged from the hospital his father had to carry him two and from the toilet and bathroom. He is in so much pain he cannot do anything for himself. He now has a wheelchair which is helping the family move him around."
The father of the boy said he wanted to focus on his son's recovery.
"At this stage, I want to make sure he gets the best medical attention. The matter has been reported to the police and I will let the law run its course. My boy is in a lot of pain. He cannot eat properly but we are grateful to God that there are no broken ribs and bones. Further tests are being done and we will know soon the extent of the injury. It's still too soon to say for sure what's going on."
Moulana Imran Khamissa at the mosque said he was aware of the incident but declined to comment.
Muzi Mahlambi the spokesperson for the Department of Education in KZN, said they were investigating the incident.
"We are aware of the video that has been circulating on social media. Bullying is rife in our schools and we have launched an anti-bullying campaign to curb the issue. Bullying has become another pandemic and is a silent killer in our schools."
Mahlambi said parents needed to listen more carefully to their children because bullying started in many forms.
"It can start with something small like your child's pen being taken. When your child complains to you about it, take it seriously and report it to the teacher. If parents stay silent it will only develop into something worse, like violence."
Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, confirmed a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm was opened at the Port Shepstone SAPS.
"The complainant alleged that on May 28, at 1pm, her 14-year-old son was at a mosque in Port Shepstone when he was assaulted by a known suspect. He sustained wounds and bruises on the back and neck. The matter is still under investigation."