Toddler beaten at upmarket crèche

2012-06-04 09:04

Pietermaritzburg - A 15-month-old toddler was beaten at an upmarket Pietermaritzburg crèche, while other allegations of abuse, including punishing children by putting fruit salt in their mouths, have also surfaced.

Police confirmed that they are investigating the alleged abuse at the Baby Steps day care centre in Walter Short Road, Scottsville.

Crèche owner Brenda Seery confirmed the assault involving the 15- month-old baby, but has denied other allegations of abuse against the children.

She said the child had been assaulted by a temporary cleaner who had been immediately dismissed.


Early in May, a Scottsville attorney discovered that her 15-month-old daughter was being physically abused. The attorney cannot be named to protect the identity of her minor daughter, but her details are known to The Witness.

She said that while she had been changing her daughter for school on May 9 she found several red and purple bruise marks on the toddler’s thighs and buttocks and immediately became concerned.

“I was shocked to see these marks on my baby’s body. I had given her a bath the night before and I didn’t notice anything. My gut told me that something was very wrong. I took my baby to the crèche that morning wanting answers.”

There she was told that the crèche owner, Brenda Seery, was not available and would contact her as soon as possible.

“I was horrified 30 minutes later to receive a call from a hysterical Brenda saying that my daughter had been hit again by a worker.

“I raced over to the crèche and found Brenda, my husband (whom she had called), Brenda’s daughter Tamlyn and a casual worker standing outside,” the mother said.

A doctor confirmed in a statement to police that the injuries sustained by the child were consistent with that of a beating either by hand or with a stick.

A former employee at the crèche has since provided a written statement about what she observed while she worked there. She has asked that her identity be withheld for fear of victimisation.

“When a child is irritated, Brenda or Tamlyn would be quite rough with that child - by smacking or pushing them.

“The maids would do the same. Brenda is rarely there and Tamlyn leaves at about 13:45. The two maids are then left to look after the children there,” she said.


Seery, in a statement, maintained that the child had not been beaten with a stick. She also denied the allegations made by the former employee. She admitted administering fruit salts to some children, but said it was done with the parent’s permission.

“Some parents ask us to put chillies in their children’s mouth. We have never done that, but yes we have put a pinch of Eno’s in some of the children’s mouths,” said Seery.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said police were investigating and appealed to anyone who could assist in drawing up an identikit of the worker.

  • Ryno - 2012-06-04 09:19

    what is that old saying again? where these is smoke, there is fire?

  • Karen - 2012-06-04 09:22

    I have just one question (other than the obvious ones!) .... why is it necessary to "appeal to anyone who could assist in drawing up an identikit of the worker"?? Surely the owner of the creche has her ID etc if she was employed there???

      John - 2012-06-04 10:23

      I agree. Before I leave my kid anywhere, I want a full background check on everyone that works there that is in daily contact with the children. How on heaven's name can you allow someone to work with kids that hasn't even left you a copy of their ID?

  • Consolata - 2012-06-04 09:35

    Now not even the creche's are safe. What must a parent do in this country to protect their child.

      sandi.s.ranwell - 2012-06-04 09:50

      I'm sad to say this Consolata, but you are so right - no-one is safe in our beautiful SA anymore! That's why I moved to Turkey...

      jeffrey.jones.357 - 2012-06-04 10:31

      Better steer clear of the Kurds in the east of the country then.

      Marco - 2012-06-04 10:58

      isn't turkey pretty close to a nuclear armed middle east. smooth dude and stay safe.

      pearson.botha - 2012-06-04 18:13

      It's not about "this country" This happens all over the world.

  • Boikhutso Francina Khutso - 2012-06-04 09:49

    Some owner they act as if they don't know what'z happening in the crech of which they know they abuse this innocent children knowing that they won't talk

  • lisableeker1 - 2012-06-04 09:50

    how disgusting!!!!!!!!! i hope that bitch, her daughter and all her employees rot in hell!

  • vaughan.greene - 2012-06-04 09:55

    shut that place down

  • Adair - 2012-06-04 10:02

    A casual cleaner has unsupervised access to the children?Where is the owner when this is going on?I would remove my child from that creche immediately.

  • Margaux - 2012-06-04 10:17

    beat my child then i will give u the beating of your life!!!!! you will enjoy slurping your food through a straw in hospital. man or woman... eye for an eye. would like to see what happens to this case. not enough evidence blah blah blah.

  • selma.botha.9 - 2012-06-04 10:18

    They will have their heads in their hands to play with.

  • Zuz67 - 2012-06-04 10:22

    Sorry to say, but this happens. My daughter worked as an assistent at a pre school in RandPark Ridge, she resigned because of the way the "teachers" without diploma's, treated the young ones! The Chilly story are done to 16 month old babies, at that school. Be very careful in who's care you leave your young ones and babies!

  • Melinda - 2012-06-04 10:24

    Thats so sad I'm a owner of a creche if you don't love kids don't open a creche but most of them do it for the money, I really hope these poeple get a jail sentance,,

      Nompumelelo - 2012-06-05 07:31

      I agree, Melinda! Parents end up with a string of therapies in order to remedy the damage inflicted in places like these! What happened to the Inspectors who used to visit creches unannounced 37 years ago? I feel for these parents...

  • Mthenjwa - 2012-06-04 10:24

    If it was my child i would burn down that creche n hang the owner with her legs while i kick her head bcoz she is the one who condone such things

  • michelle.e.magson - 2012-06-04 10:31

    really? i would rip you all apart if you did ANY of that to my children, or i saw you do it to any other children. sheer stupidity, absolute ignorance, and no sense whatsoever. maximum charges/sentence to this creche owner, and education under sentence for the workers, please. how do people get away with this kind of teatment? no one can be truste anymore, old age homes, creche's .... where are we safe?

  • Vinicia - 2012-06-04 10:35

    tjooo! hold me before i skin that person alive. ke trapa motho alebale le lebitso la gae. what's up with these people mara? you pay too much for better service and this is what u get? nxa!

  • elaine.swart - 2012-06-04 10:36

    This is horrendous, and what is even worse is that a lot of parents do this to their own children under the guise of "discipline" but then it is okay. They only recognize the brutality of it when someone else does it to their children

  • Lorraine - 2012-06-04 11:02

    Very shocking - schools must register, comply and be role models it is cases like this one that gives all schools a bad reputation! Staff should be qualified and managed properly. School Owner Johannesburg South

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-06-04 11:03

    This worries me deeply as a parent. My daughter started at a creche last month and she's only 2 years old. I'm suddenly wondering what sort of treatment she's receiving there.

      lindaawhelan - 2012-06-04 14:01

      Gcwabe, if you can, visit the creche unannounced at a time when they would not expect you. Speak to other mothers who have kids at the creche, find out as much as you can about the owners and make sure it is registered.

  • Eban - 2012-06-04 11:08

    CLOSE THE PLACE DOWN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GEEZ MAN ....... for goodness sake !!!

  • Iceberg - 2012-06-04 11:21

    A lawyer's child no less :/ Brenda deserves whats coming her way for sure.

  • barry.dogg.fritz - 2012-06-04 11:58

    boy does this make my blood boil

  • Angiefoord - 2012-06-04 12:35

    ...and this is why my child remains in my eyesight and care at home!

  • lynn.syme.1 - 2012-06-04 12:51

    "Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest." ~Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter, Creating a Culture of Life

  • Pixie86 - 2012-06-04 12:57

    this is probably the reason some kids become so violent later on. They're exposed to violence at such a tender age.

  • Jackie - 2012-06-04 13:06

    I would have freaked out! let me tell you there would have been bloodshed at that creche!

  • Martin - 2012-06-04 14:43

    Parents must look after their kids and not send them to creches. You cannot rely on other people to provide the same care. Drop your standard of living and give your children love and care.

      Charné - 2012-06-04 15:13

      Don't judge the parents!!! Life is expensive and saldy in most cases a lot of mothers and fathers are forced to work!

      angela.monaghansandells - 2012-06-04 18:19

      So what are you saying Martin? That working mothers don't give their kids love and care? What makes you think that people can afford to drop their standard of living?

  • Tax - 2012-06-04 15:19

    Why are these racists targeting toddlers for their brutal attacks?

      pearson.botha - 2012-06-04 19:06

      Why make it a race thing? Hurting children isn't race exclusive. First, blame the parents for placing the child with a dimwit. Second, Blame the dimwit proprietor for lack of supervision. Thirdly, Get the employee and all parties into a court. If she is guilty, we can blame her too. She was the second lowest link in the whole food chain. Apportion blame from the top. Well educated parents such as she, should know better.

  • olivia.kgatla - 2012-06-04 16:36

    Why is these creche being refered to as upmarket

  • pearson.botha - 2012-06-04 18:42

    I blame the parents who allow complete strangers access to their children. This during formative years when the child is learning to speak, the most important years of a child's life. Complete strangers Parents entrust the children to daycare that by default is an inferior way to RAISE children. Some mothers are dumb enough to ask; "what time do the children sleep?" Are they aware that all the children are drugged to sleep at the same time every day? Convenient, mom gets an unconscious sleepyhead every afternoon at five. Money is more important than children. Daycare is cheap, so we are going to raise cheap children.

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-06-04 19:39

    The person who beat the child must be charged,some comments here are so insensitive i feel like puking,wake up you damn fools.

  • Megan - 2012-06-04 23:50

    I'm currently studying as a ECD pratitioner,and good grieve its a lot of rules,rights,and laws for a licensed centre.and no where in the books is written that you can beat up someone elses child.shame on that woman,I hope she knows what the law says about hitting on children.

  • Vincent - 2012-06-05 01:36

    One of these days we going to hear of a fetus being raped and has laid charges with the police, or it is alleged that a 3months old fetus has killed mom because it felt abused! #Headlines to watch.

  • songezo.kilani - 2012-06-05 01:48

    Jesus christ, how on earth?

  • mpho.masilo.16 - 2012-06-05 07:17

    This workers get instructions 4rm the owner it must be closed nextym thy wil kill our kids

  • Anthony - 2012-06-05 08:47

    Sounds like the Creche owner was beating the kids and when confronted, quickly blamed the casual worker who has conveniently disappeared.......

  • Shelena - 2012-06-05 15:14

    So unfortunate, how people can get such a kick out of cheap sensation. Maybe people should find out all the FACTS before they slander innocent people!!!!!! but then again people obviously believe everything they read< in this case my point is proven

  • pages:
  • 1