Boy, 5, found tied to bed; mom arrested

2012-01-19 22:30

Johannesburg - A mother was arrested on charges of child abuse after her 5-year-old son was found tied to a bed in their shack in Somerset West, Western Cape police said on Thursday.

Neighbours heard the boy and his 2-year-old sister screaming from the shack in Sir Lowry's Pass, Somerset West on Wednesday afternoon, said Captain Frederick van Wyk.

The police were called and they found the children alone in the shack and the boy tied by the leg to the bed.

Van Wyk refused to tell News24 what material was used to tie the boy to the bed.

“Is that relevant? It will form part of the police’s investigation [into the matter],” he said.

The 28-year-old mother was expected to appear in the Somerset Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Van Wyk told News24 the children are now in a place of safety.

Childline’s Joan van Niekerk told News24 that parents who are at a loss as to what to do with their children when they go to work or shopping should contact the organisation for information.

Van Niekerk recalled the incident in which two young children died in a fire at a block of flats in Durban’s CBD on Friday January 13.

The children were left alone by their mother.

Childline's phone number is 0800 55 555.

  • Odicito - 2012-01-20 05:38

    How much of this horrible stuff need to happen before 'mothers' and 'fathers' are actually held accountable. I think we need to have a few serious punishment to set an example and send a very clear message out there. Arrest this 'mom' for a longtime (the kids dont need her anyway), and track down the father, if he left them and doesnt support them, lock him up too! That will not only us free from careless breeders, but it will also hopefully give others signals out there. Poor kids!

      Lloyd - 2012-01-20 09:21

      ja, but then we have to support the parents by paying for their accomodation at the state facility(prison)...not fair. the punishment must fit the crime. Community service and house arrest!

      Megan - 2012-01-20 09:35

      I actually think the solution is quite simple, although most people will disagree with me. Any parent found guilty of child abuse or neglect (or any deliberate action that they KNOW directly affects the health and wellbeing of a child) should be sterilized without consent so that in NO WAY is there even the SMALLEST opportunity for the same actions to be repeated on another small, innocent soul. However, that is something that would require incredibly strict and careful investigation as something like this may be a case of a desparate mother thinking that ensuring her children can't get out will ensure that they don't fall prey to the scum of the earth who rape and murder children...

      Ann - 2012-01-20 12:08

      Excellent question Odicito - some people should just not be allowed to breed!!!

  • carpejugulim - 2012-01-20 07:18

    It would be wonderful if the government acknowledged that there was a population problem, a problem they have done very little to curb or resolve. Now, before we all go into a collective haffy fit screaming racism, please read the rest of the comment first. How many single parent families are living in townships (it does say shack in the article). As with everywhere else the parent has to work to keep food on the table. I know there are very few creche or day care facilities available in townships so who looks after the children?. How many families are child led? The oldest child is responsible for feeding and clothing rest of the children as one or both parents is deceased or too ill to work, or they are existing on granny or gandpa's pension. Sometimes the grandparents cannot look after young children. By starting creches and day care facilities with sponsorship, government or other, you are creating jobs and solving the problem of young children being left alone for long periods of time.

      Pamela - 2012-01-20 08:13

      A very good post.

      Sharon - 2012-01-20 08:45

      Excellent post.......but something needs to be done about the reckless breeding that is happening throughout, young girls should be put on the pill or something like that at an early age.

      Sunett - 2012-01-20 09:35

      Great idea! Now if only someone in government would think that far... @ Shanna - I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, a lot of these girls get pregnant to get their hands on grants, they never finish school, and the circle starts all over again.

      Megan - 2012-01-20 09:59

      You have a very valid point there but I would like to bring up a few things to maybe counter it. Contraception is free in primary health care clinics accessible even in the townships, as are condoms. Who, in their right mind, brings a child in to this world knowing FULLY that they cannot afford it? I agree with you when you say that there are probably hardly enough creches in the area for parents to send their children too, further than that, there is also the cost involved - which some parents cannot afford. In a community rife with unemployment I find it incredibly difficult to believe that these parents can't come up with a SINGLE responsible plan on ensuring proper adult supervision for kids. I'm sure an unemployed lady would not mind being employed by the community (even at a fee of R10 per child) to keep an eye on a few of the children living in her street, or around her immediate area.

      carpejugulim - 2012-01-20 11:11

      Megan I agree whole heartedly. I have 2 kids by choice. I can afford to feed, clothe and educate the children that I have. The thing is that there is a massive overpopulation problem but it is filed under "it is our culture". Child grants are used as jolling money and not to look after the children. Seriously, how easy is it to pop out a child and leave it with grandparents or parents to raise knowing that by doing that you have a set income per child every month? Something else that does need to be taken into consideration is that in a first world society there are many jobs both skilled and unskilled. In an emerging society there are a set number of jobs, this number can only increase as the demand for products and services increases. If you have 500 jobs and 50 000 job seekers you have a big problem, no matter how much anybody makes promises about "job creation" in their election campaigns, and this will get progressively worse over time. No child asks to be born and I agree that it is a parental responsibility to feed, clothe and educate one's children but parental responsibility and accountability have been shoved aside by "it is our culture", this coupled with the easy access to child grants has resulted in a massive population explosion and will bring huge problems in the future. This kind of situation will get a lot worse before it gets better ... if it ever does get better. China possibly had the right idea of giving state benefits for only having one child.

      Lila - 2012-01-20 12:22

      Carpejugulim, I disagree with your post. By providing free day care facilities you are just promoting unemployed people to continue having children and us as the tax payer will end up paying to support this. I do not believe in abortion; however we should adopt certain policies where we say no more than 1 or 2 children per family. Thereafter the woman needs to get sterilized as well as the man. It does not help if the women get sterilized but the same man goes around making 3 different women pregnant. Either way, it is a huge problem and there is not a single solution to the problem. The solution requires a mindset change within certain cultures.

      Lila - 2012-01-20 12:25

      @Sunett. Correct, they are issued with social grants for having children and being unemployed. Personally I think that if you receive a social grant you should do community service and accept the social grant as a "wage." The only people who should receive a social grant without having to work in exchange for it are those that are disabled etc. We are sitting with a major shortage of services and plenty of able bodies to do the work, who sit around doing nothing all day. They can start by cleaning the rubbish in their surrounding areas.

      carpejugulim - 2012-01-20 14:21

      Lila I didn't say anything about FREE day care. Bear in mind that there are many in the townships that battle to put one meagre meal on the table on a daily basis never mind the cost of starting a daycare or creche facility. Yes I should have been specific about sponsorship so here goes: 1- a safe building with the required toilet and cooking facilities. Sponsorship to cover the running costs may be necessary until the school is functioning at a profit. 2- a course on how to look after children, trust me some people may need this. 3- a how to manage a daycare facility course run by someone who knows what they are doing. This in turn allows the benefactors of the course to educate others and possibly provide employment and or the where with all to begin a new business. 4- As much as I would like to deny this I do happen to know of schools where the only meal that a child gets is what they are fed at school so sponsorship for a feeding scheme would be excellent. Sponsorship of tools, seeds and a self sufficiency (NOT everyone is a farmer) course would go towards feeding the children too. 5- An affordable monthly payment per child is then negotiated with the parent. Bear in mind that no child asks to be born BUT until responsibility and accountability are acknowledged by those of child bearing age, the ridiculous child grant is reassessed and people are educated that uncontrolled breeding cannot be sustained South Africa will sit with an ever growing problem.

  • Francis - 2012-01-20 09:21

    Instead of doing something about the population, the Govt. has encouraged indiscriminate breeding by its child allowance policy!!Our president being one of the main culprits as his attitude to women-especially young women- is sleep with them and never mind the consequences!! The Zulu culture used to protect the young girls and old people.Now the old people have to look after all these children on their pensions whilst the mothers and "boyfriends" spend the allowance! Ever wondered where all these unemployed young men get the fancy clothes and cellphones? Single mothers working, breeding and going back to the job again for more work until its breeding and maternity leave time again! Disgusting!! And if you think I'm exagerating,visit any Zululand town and spend a bit of time on the street and ask some grannys where the mothers of that string of toddlers are!!

  • Shirley - 2012-01-20 10:01

    What I dont get is if you are unemployed,dont have proper housing and infrastructure to raise these kids-why do they continue to reproduce like rabits???? Seriously I dont care what colour,race or religion you are-why would you want to inflict a child with a life that has little ot no future????? The grant system does more harm than good and I think anyone receiving said grant should partake in mandatory parenting classes! This is not the way children should be raised in the 21st centuary!

      Shirley - 2012-01-20 10:13

      should read:rabbits

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-01-20 10:03

    Why have children if you cant look after them,this woman and her man should be sterilized and never allowed to have children again. and that goes for the rest of the people that cant look after their children

  • Tracey-Lee - 2012-01-20 10:32

    OMW ,,,, how sick lol stop having kids if you cant look after them

  • - 2012-01-20 10:44

    My heart bleeds for these little kids... I as a mother, cannot understand how other woman can treat their own flesh and blood like this.. Makes me sick to my stomach..

  • E=MC2 - 2012-01-20 13:31

    sad (& sick) as this story is, this is probably still only a small percentage of the horror that actually makes the news! My heart goes out to children being treated this way by idiotic adults who shouldnt be allowed to be parents in the 1st place!

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-20 13:47

    Poor people should be allowed to "breed" it is a human right, perhaps 6 children or more is wrong (I dont get that myself). To the people who want to scream race, please visit the USA and Canada and notice the same phenomena where the poorest whites have the biggest families. Let’s also not be too harsh on this mom. Perhaps the kid frustrated the mother to such a point where she just lost it as time and time again I have seen parents slap their kids to the head in malls and shopping centre’s. Slapping a kid to the head I consider even worse abuse then the incident in the article and many of the parents that commented here today are guilty of just that.

      carpejugulim - 2012-01-20 14:48

      Heinrich nobody is stopping anybody from having children, what I am griping about is the fact that anyone can breed and produce children but there seems to be a total abrogation of parental responsibility and accountability aggravated by the easy access to child grants here in South Africa. As a parent it is my duty (I chose to have children) to feed, clothe and educate my children to give them the very best possible advantage later in life. On my part it was a concious decision to have 2 as that was the number we could afford. Telling me that having 6 kids is ok as it is a human right is nonsense. It is a concious decision to go to the FREE family planning clinics throughout the country and get FREE contraceptives to prevent unnecessary pregnancies. NO CHILD ASKS TO BE BORN, it is a decision by the parents to have unprotected sex before figuring out whether they can support that child through to adulthood. Schoolgirls are having babies because it is so easy to dump the child on a parent or grandparent and use the grant for jolling money. No accountability and no responsibility and until the general population's mindset changes we are heading for big problems ... ever heard of too many people and not enough jobs? Picture South Africa in 20 years time ...

  • Lisa - 2012-01-20 14:59

    I'm going to take a chance here. I am a mother of little baby too and would never in any lifetime treat my kids that way, but I do feel that before passing judgement on this mother, we should consider what actuaaly drove this mother to the far extent of tying her kid to a bed. Firstly she lives in a shack, which could suggest that she is in no way financially sound, so maybe she was forced to go to work to provide for her family. Maybe she had nobody to look after them and was left helpless with no choice? I for one as a mother, knows that there are times where feelings of complete helplessness, sleep deprivation and frustration could lead to poor judgement. Maybe she just just honestly had no choice and knew of no other options? This in no way justifies her negligence, but before passing judgement, first try to understand her circumstances, if there were any for that matter.

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