KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza, has vowed to intensify efforts to protect children from neglect and abuse.
This follows an incident involving a seven-year-old boy with special needs. He was found locked up in a four-roomed house with dogs in Umlazi, south of Durban, for over a month. He had no food, water or electricity.
The boy was spotted by members of the public standing inside the locked house secured with burglar bars.
It is believed that he had been left in the care of his father by his grandmother. The father allegedly left the boy locked in the house over a month ago.
“We have been taken aback by the conditions the child was left in. We are surprised and shocked ….
“The child has been left in such a despicable condition. No child deserves to be treated like this, and there is no explanation that can be accepted from the parents of this poor child,” Khoza said.
No mercy for abusers
Khoza said she will be pushing for law enforcement agencies to have no mercy on individuals involved in any form of child abuse.
“There should be no negotiating with abusers. As the Department of Social Development, we are leaving no stone unturned in dealing with such cases in our society.
“A number of children are brought up in unsafe homes. We encourage parents to make use of government help if they find themselves unable to take care of children,” the MEC said.
She said the boy has been removed from the house and taken to a place of safety. A team of social workers has been dispatched to provide him with psychosocial support.
“It will not be enough to rescue the child. We have to ensure that both parents face [the law],” Khoza said.