Port Shepstone police arrested a teenager for assaulting an eight-year-old boy in the Mehlomnyama area on the South Coast on Sunday.
This comes after grisly photographs of the badly bruised eight-year-old circulated on social media over the weekend. His attacker is 17 years old.
It is alleged that the child had become a victim of constant assault in his home.
KZN Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has condemned the abuse and called on the law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned to ensure that this matter is thoroughly investigated.
“We have been taken aback by the abuse of the child who suffered at the hands of a person who was supposed to protect a child. We are therefore not going to sit idly but will ensure that all those involved in the abuse of this child get arrested and prosecuted. It is equally disturbing to learn that police allegedly failed to arrest the perpetrator after the matter was reported to them by a community member,” said Khoza.
Also, the IFP in the Ugu district has called out Mehlomnyama Police Station officers for their failure to act urgently when the abuse case was reported.
According to IFP Ugu district chairperson- Sifundo Ngwane, the IFP views the lack of immediate police response as sheer negligence.
Furthermore, the party called upon the Department of Community Safety and Liaison and the Provincial Police Commissioner to urgently intervene in the matter.
Acting KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Kwazi Mshengu has directed police to leave no stone unturned to ensure that those responsible for the constant abuse of the child.
MEC Mshengu commended police for arresting the alleged perpetrator. He said police will work closely with social workers in the Department of Social Development to ensure that this case receives priority.
“We have tasked police to secure justice for the minor victim and for detectives to put together a watertight case to ensure that the arrested perpetrator is harshly dealt with. We will continue to improve and intensify the combatting, prevention, and investigation of crimes against women and children. Importantly, we commend the member of the public who did not turn a blind eye to this case but timeously reported the matter because abuse of women and children in a societal challenge that requires active citizenry so that it can be dealt with decisively as police cannot do it alone.
“We are pleased that after being discharged from hospital the victim is being housed in a place of safety where he will receive care and psychosocial support while police continue with their investigation,” added Mshengu.
MEC Mshengu echoed Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza’s sentiments in calling for the public to stop circulating the disturbing pictures of the victim on social media as the matter was receiving attention and it is illegal to publish pictures of a minor.