PMB mob bays for blood of child accused of being ‘vampire’

2010-01-19 00:00

POLICE and community leaders came to the rescue of a 12-year-old boy who was threatened with death by residents of Matshwareni Extension 14 in the greater Edendale area yesterday evening.

A community member called police after seeing that the situation was getting out of hand.

The drama started after a story appeared in an Edendale-based newspaper alleging that a 12-year-old girl from the Eastern Cape has been accused of vampirism and of eating human flesh.

The boy, a grade six pupil from Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town, is visiting his mother who came to Edendale to lay a wreath on her uncle’s grave.

The boy’s aunt, who cannot be named to protect his identity, said she does not understand how the situation reached the le­vel it had yesterday.

On Saturday, local residents descended on her home after reading the story, demanding that the family leave the house and go back to the Eastern Cape.

“This is ridiculous, and whoever started this will be punished by God. The story was about a girl from the Eastern Cape, not a boy from the Western Cape.

“What’s worse is that these people could not tell us who spoke to the journalist who wrote the misleading story. I want that journalist to know that she almost killed my sister’s child, and she has left scars that will not be easily healed,” said the aunt.

Even after the police, who arrived in several vehicles, were called, the mob didn’t stop insulting the family, threatening to kill the boy and burn the house down if they did not leave the area.

The boy’s mother sobbed, seeking answers from the few neighbours who were sympathetic to the family.

“These people will pay for what they have done. They will go to jail for this,” said the weeping mother.

“All the time they were chanting, hurling insults. I prayed and begged them to spare my child’s life. They would not have it that they are after a wrong person, and I don’t know what they see in my child. Despite these allegations, no one could come forward and say their children have been victims of my child.”

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan confirmed that a crowd of about 3 000 gathered at the house in the afternoon, threatening to burn it and kill the child.

She also confirmed that the child was taken to a safe place and that he is not the child referred to in an article.

She said local people went to the child’s school at the weekend and told the principal they wanted to remove their children from the school.

Jeevan expressed concern that the child could have been killed had a community member not summoned the police.

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