Action Story: Langa boy burnt with boiling water

By Kaylynn Palm

 

Weeks have passed and a Langa toddler is still recovering – after he was burnt with boiled water allegedly by angry woman for playing with a gate.

Last month, a 4-year-old boy was playing with his friends when a 22-year-old woman came out of her house and threw hot water at him.

According to the boy’s mother, Zanele Mnyombolo, the child arrived at home in pain and questioned what had happened. “He told us that he was playing with his friends, and then his aunt went to the house and confronted the woman who did it and she told us that he was on her property. We were very upset, because we couldn’t understand why a grown woman would throw a child with hot water for playing near or with a gate,” she said.

Mnyombolo added that the woman told them that the boy should play where he lives at the informal settlement. “Out of all of the children that were in front of the house, our little boy was the target. He was in pain for days and he couldn’t stop crying at night because of the wounds,” she said.

The incident, which took place on 24 June angered the community of Langa. Mnyombolo said following the incident the family reported the incident at Langa SAPS but were told there were no police vans available to respond to the incident. “We knew where the woman lives and we gave all the details to the police. We waited for the woman to be arrested that night and nothing happened,” she said.

The Langa community in anger took to the streets and demanded that the woman be arrested. In showing their seriousness, residents marched to the police station. “Eventually after so much pressure from the community, and after all the noise, the woman was arrested, and appeared in court. We are thankful for everyone who stood with us and supported us,” said Mnyombolo.

The initial charge against the woman was assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH), however according to Western Cape NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila the state changed the charge to attempted murder due to the injuries the victim suffered.

The case was postponed to September 20 for further investigation.

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