Boy (9) used by ‘wizard’

2013-10-23 00:00

A VULNERABLE nine-year-old boy has been removed from his home and taken to a place of safety, following claims that he was being used by an mthakathi (wizard) to put curses on people.

The Grade 2 pupil was removed from his Willowfountain home last week by social workers after The Witness alerted the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development to his plight.

The Witness has in its possession video footage that shows the boy speaking about his role in bewitching people in the area at the behest of a “wizard”.

The relative who took the footage asked to remain unnamed to protect the child’s identity.

He said he wanted help before neighbours hurt the child, who they blamed for the curses that they believe have been placed on them.

In the footage, the boy talks about being kept with baboons and also being sent to various homes in the area to bewitch people.

“If I refuse to co-operate with [the man], he told me he was going to hammer a nail into my head to turn me into a zombie,” the boy said.

He mentions names of people he had been sent to bewitch and where he had planted muthi on the man’s instructions.

Neighbours said they chased the boy away because they did not trust him any more.

KZN Traditional Healers’ Association chairperson Sazi Mhlongo said the boy’s family should have reported this matter to the police and social workers before, so they could have intervened.

“Because whoever is behind this evil deed is abusive to the child,” he said.

Mhlongo said if nothing was done to help the boy, then he might grow up to become an “idiot”.

“Children who are used to carry out such evils grow up to become idiots in society, so the community must put an end to this before it is too late,” he said.

KZN spokesperson for the Department Social Development Ncumisa Fandesi confirmed that the child was under their care in a place of safety.

“After our social workers assessed the situation, they felt that his life was at risk and they removed him to one of our child welfare organisations funded by the department,” she said.

Fandesi said community members should report such matters to the department to safeguard the child.

“Social workers also discovered that this was a foster child,” she said.

Fandesi said social workers were working with the Education Department to ensure that the child’s schooling was not disrupted.

KZN Education spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said if this was true, then social workers should investigate and also involve the police because it was unacceptable for any adult to treat a child in this way.

“This would have a negative impact on the child’s education,” he said.

Mlotshwa said it was very disturbing that older people carried out such diabolical acts of evil on pupils.

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