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News : The Boy In Chains

At his age, he should be at school, in Grade 1 with classmates. But the six-year-old was discovered in chains and locked up with chickens in a filthy structure in Osizweni township, Newcastle.

The boy may not be named because of his age.
A tip-off by a concerned neighbour led to the shocking discovery. The boy had been in the care of a foster mother who is old enough to be his grandmother.

The neighbour said: "I heard the hysterical cry for help from the boy, who was locked up and chained in the house by his foster mother, who had left home to queue for her pension grant.

"What pained me most is that this young kid was left without food and water." The neighbour alerted the police.
Osizweni police station Inspector Sydney Mtshali said he broke down a padlocked door. "I found the young boy tied with chains (on) his hands and legs, like a prisoner," he said.

"He was being kept at a place with chickens.” The boy was scared, shaking, afraid and dirty. His condition was bad.
"From what the community members have explained (to me), this was not the first time the old lady had locked up the boy," he said.

A social worker had taken the boy to hospital. The visibly traumatised boy said he had never been to school. "I (long) to go there one day," he said.

"I have just seen some boys and girls of my age in their nice uniforms on their way to school.
"Gogo has always been promising to take me to school, but I don't (know) why she has chained me like this today. When she left in the morning, she promised me that she would buy me shoes."

When asked if his granny had chained him before, the six-year-old said: "Gogo beats me up with anything, even with a big stick or a pipe. But she has never chained me like this."
The 72-year-old woman is believed to have adopted a boy aged seven. Mtshali said the six-year-old had been in an orphanage before he was taken in.

Approached for comment, the foster parent said: "Look, my boy, this child is very troublesome. "I decided to lock him up because I did not want him to leave."
Mtshali said the foster mother had been arrested on charges of child abuse. She appeared before the Madadeni Magistrate's Court on Friday and was out on bail.

"The abused boy will be kept in (a) place of safety for now, while the social workers deal with the situation," said Mtshali.
"But the two boys are likely to be taken away by social workers."

Source: iol.co.za

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