The Mpumalanga Social Development Department, in KwaZulu-Natal province, has removed a nine-year-old girl from her aunt’s care after she was severely battered and bruised by her aunt – simply identified as Mamkhulu.
The department stepped in when a photo of the 9-year-old’s awful, bloody back went viral after it was shared on Facebook. The aunt’s alleged assault on the girl left her with multiple lacerations and wounds.
The matter was, however, reported to the Matsulu police in Mpumalanga by a community member, who said she is still in a deep shock.
— Mweli Masilela (@mwelimasilela) August 23, 2017
She disclosed to reporters that she decided to take up the matter because she was broken and had experienced an asthma attack when she saw the girl.
The resident, who pleaded not to be mentioned said the grade two pupil’s skin was still cut from the beating four days later.
“She looked like had been beaten with a sjambok. Her skin is cut in many places,” she said.
The Matsulu police also confirmed the incident through its spokesperson, Nkomozakhe Khumalo.
“The incident happened on, August 19. The picture was posted on Facebook and one concerned community member came to report the incident to the police station, police then went to the school where the girl attends,” Khumalo said.
According to Khumalo, the girl’s aunt wrote in a statement that the reason why she beat the girl was that she came home late.
An assault case with an intention to cause grievous bodily harm has since been opened and the police have launched an investigation into the crime.
The child will now be taken to a local clinic and will receive counseling, according to the Mpumalanga Social Development Department. Mamkhulu will appear at the Matsulu periodical court on Thursday.