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ANC slams chaining of child

2010-01-18 20:05

Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has condemned the treatment of a six-year-old boy who was allegedly chained and locked away by a foster grandparent.

"As the ANC, we were disgusted at the horrific conditions that the boy was found to be living under," said ANC secretary Sihle Zikalala, reacting to the story published by The Mercury on Monday.

The paper reported that the boy was found chained by his hands and legs and locked up with chickens in Osizweni township in Newcastle.

The paper wrote that when the 72-year-old woman was asked why she had chained the boy, she said: "This child is very troublesome. I decided to lock him up because I did not want him to leave."

Zikalala said no child should ever be made to live in such conditions.

"It is a shame that this boy who should have [been] beginning early learning development classes (Grade 0 and 1) is being left locked up at home unattended with no food and water," he said.

It was a child’s constitutional right as per the Children’s bill of rights to receive food and shelter, and to be protected from being abused, neglected and degraded.

"Above all children have the right to receive decent education and development," he said.

The report stated that the boy had never been to school and had been in an orphanage before he was taken in by the foster mother.

Zikalala said the ANC had instructed the MEC for Social Development Meshack Radebe to attend to the boy’s case.

"He (Radebe) has since given us a report that he has deployed the Regional Manager of the department in Newcastle to attend to the matter," said Zikalala.

Investigations had also been started by the department and a safe home was being sought for the boy.

"The MEC has also made an undertaking that the boy will be sent to school and that he will ensure that he receives all the necessary requirements for his schooling."