Toddler burnt for jumping fence

By Buziwe Nocuze

The shocking incident of a four-year-old boy being doused with boiling water for simply climbing at the gate of a house in Langa township, Cape Town has ignited widespread anger.

Residents are demanding that the 22-year-old woman accused of perpetrating this heinous act be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Nearly two weeks after the incident she had not even been arrested. But on Thursday, after a social media campaign, the suspect was picked up by Langa police and a case registered.

Unako Khala, the young victim, suffered severe burns after the alleged assault in Settlers, a suburb of Langa township.

Speaking to Scrolla.Africa, Yonela Mnyombolo, the victim’s aunt, expressed her frustration with the local police station’s handling of the case.

“This happened on June 24th. SAPS members came, and we took them to the suspect’s house. We were shocked to see that she was still walking free on the street while Unako was in so much pain, couldn’t even sleep at night,” said Mnyombolo. The boy is being treated at the Vanguard Community Health Centre.

“Before posting about what has happened and how unhappy we are about how SAPS handled the case, I went to the police station to ask for an update and to understand why she hadn’t been arrested for what she did.”

However, Mnyombolo did not receive a satisfactory response, leading her to turn to social media for help.

“I am happy that I posted on social media because she was arrested on Thursday. Why did it take so long for SAPS to apprehend her when we took them to her house? They failed us,” she said.

Recalling the day of the incident, Mnyombolo revealed that Unako was innocently on his way to the park to play.

Mnyombolo acknowledged that the suspect should have addressed the situation differently when she found Unako on her gate, either by calmly handling the situation or reporting it to the elders.

When Scrolla.Africa visited Unako’s family, they were camping outside Langa SAPS, waiting for the suspect to be arrested.

“I am relieved that she has finally been apprehended. It shouldn’t have taken us camping outside the police station for SAPS to do their job. Now we seek justice, and we will address SAPS negligence on another day,” added Mnyombolo.

Captain FC Van Wyk, the spokesperson for Western Cape SAPS, confirmed that Langa SAPS registered an assault case with the intent to do grievous bodily harm and that a 22-year-old suspect had been arrested.

“A 22-year-old was arrested today (Thursday) and is due to appear in court once charged,” said Van Wyk.

The case has been transferred to Bishop Lavis FCS for further investigation.

Pictured above: Unako Khala, a four-year-old boy from Zone 17 informal settlement in Langa township, Cape Town, was burnt with boiling water 

Image source: Buziwe Nocuze


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