Juvenile wire thieves hospitalised after brutal beating

2010-10-05 00:00

TWO teenage boys, aged 10 and 16-years-old, suffered severe injuries when they were sjamboked after a midnight raid to steal fencing wire.

Some residents in the area of France where the incident occurred told The Witness that they believe the boys wanted to make their favourite playthings, wire cars, while others believe they wanted to break into a property there.

It is alleged that the boys were seen stealing the wire, which was used to fence a house in France on Friday night.

The owner of the house and his wife allegedly took turns in beating them up until they sustained open wounds to their heads before police were called. They were both taken to Edendale Hospital.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said the couple, aged 33 and 45-years-old, were arrested on Saturday morning. They appeared at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court facing charges of attempted murder.

“The 10-year-old was beaten the worst. He was being assaulted with a sjambok, a stick and fists. He pointed at an older boy, who was standing a distance away, as the person who had sent him to steal the wire to make a wire car,” said a neighbour, who witnessed the beating.

The neighbour said she was awakened at about 12.30 am by the noise of his neighbour shouting “vimbani amasela – catch the burglars”. The couple apparently caught the younger boy while he was busy cutting their fence with pliers.

“Some community members caught the elder boy and handed him to the couple, who also assaulted him. He told them that he had been sent by another man to steal from the house,” she said.

Although community members confessed that they just watched while the beating was going on they expressed shock at the way the younger boy was wounded.

“They should have whipped him,” said another neighbour, who said the boys were just looking for wire to make wire cars.

At the same time the residents suspect that the boy had gone to the house to steal other things rather than the wire.

“If they wanted wire to make a wire car they should have picked up any wire which is lying around the area. They did not have to steal it, especially at midnight,” said a resident.

Residents said it has become common for residents to badly assault burglary suspects in the area.

“Every Friday a person is taken to hospital with severe wounds,” said another resident.


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