Hungry disabled boy locked up by parents 

By Buziwe Nocuze

Residents in the Island informal settlement in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, were on their way to work when they heard someone crying inside a locked shack.

They couldn’t ignore the sound and discovered that a 14-year-old disabled boy had been left alone by his parents.

“We tried to break the door down because we couldn’t just leave without helping the crying boy in the shack,” said a resident who asked to be anonymous.

The parents had allegedly left the child alone the whole night.

Eventually, people managed to open the door and found the boy in an unclean bed, without food.

It was obvious that he had been neglected the whole night and needed care.

Resident Zingiswa Faniso called for social workers to intervene, mentioning several incidents of the parents leaving the boy alone.

“I didn’t know that he was still staying with the parents because they have been abusing the child for too long,” said Zingiswa, stressing the parents’ lack of care and their exploitation of the child’s disability grant.

Allegedly, the parents take turns using the child’s grant money for their own purposes.

“Last month the boy’s mother used the money. Next month she will hand it over to her boyfriend and he will buy alcohol,” Zingiswa said.

The residents washed and fed the boy.

Monique Mortlock-Malgas, spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Social Development, emphasised the department’s commitment to child protection.

“In a case of suspected child abuse, officials will investigate and assess the needs of the child,” she said.

Pictured above: A 14-year-old disabled boy was heard crying by residents inside a locked shack.

Image source: Buziwe Nocuze

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