Worcester woman in court for allegedly 'chaining' up children in her care

2019-02-01 14:39
The abandoned farm where 12 children were allegedly detained.(Angelo Julies, Worcester Standard)

The abandoned farm where 12 children were allegedly detained.(Angelo Julies, Worcester Standard)

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A woman from Worcester in the Western Cape has been arrested for child abuse after 12 children in her care were allegedly found left chained in a building outside the town, the Worcester Standard reported.

The 52-year-old woman appeared in the Worcester Magistrate's Court on Thursday. She has not been identified in order to protect the identities of the minor children.

According to the charge sheet, a horsewhip was used to beat one of the children in her care and the child had been chained to a bed.

The children are between the ages of 2 and 16, and had either been adopted by the woman or placed in her care. She has one child of her own.

The children were found in a temporary building on a farm 25km outside Worcester in the Scherpenheuwel district over the weekend.

According to the police report, a 16-year-old, who had been placed in her care, was chained by the neck for three days.

"It was also discovered that a 15-year-old, who is the biological child of the accused, has been beaten on a daily basis," police spokesperson Captain Lindikhaya Mkhontwana told the Worcester Standard.

Read: Girl reports abusive parents, says sisters are 'chained up'

A source close to the investigation told the newspaper that the children are undergoing medical tests, but that there is no reason to suspect sexual misconduct at this stage.

The case has been postponed to February 13 for further investigation and for the accused to obtain legal aid.

After appearing in court on Thursday, the woman visited the office of the Worcester Standard where she requested that the paper "please attend the entire court case so that everything that happened can be brought to light".

She did not want to discuss the merits of the case and said that she was "very worried about the well-being of the children", who have been taken out of her care.

She said that the case was "very complex" and that media coverage will give people the wrong idea about her.

Read more on:    cape town  |  child abuse  |  courts

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