Durban – A News24 reader from Sandton, Johannesburg, has decided to buy stationery for the two KwaZulu-Natal boys who were caught stealing erasers, calculators, pens, and pencil cases at a Verulam supermarket.
The reader, who asked not to be named, said while he did not condone theft, he was saddened by the boy’s desperation.
He said, after speaking to the family, that he would have the stationery delivered.
"People go to the extreme because they are desperate. It is not like they stole alcohol, they stole something that they desperately needed, but did not have the money to buy it."
He said he would contact the family and get a list of what was required and then have it delivered to the family.
"My colleagues and I were talking about the story and we were saying that we come from under privileged homes and we have worked hard to get to where we are today so we protect whatever we have worked for.
"At the same time, it is our duty to help the generation coming behind us because we can."
He said the story had touched him.
"My father was kicked out of school because he did not have soap to wash his school uniform and I always think of where we would be if he had everything back then.
"But I am happy that I have managed to make something of myself today and that is why I want to help the family."
The incident happened on January 12, a day before schools opened.
In an interview with News24, the mother, who cannot be identified to protect the boy’s identities, said she did not send her children to steal.
The 45-year-old unemployed woman had told one of her sons that she would only be able to afford the items he needed at the end of the month.
Private security company, Reaction Unit South Africa, posted on its Facebook page on January 12 that one of its members saw the boys commit the theft on the day.
The boys, aged 10 and 13, were caught stealing stationery such as erasers, calculators, pens, and pencil cases. The manager of the supermarket felt sorry for the boys and decided not to press charges against them.
The boy’s mother said she appreciated the help because she still didn't have the money to buy the stationery.
"I told my son that I was going to buy him the stationery at the end of the month, but I have not been able to," she said.