Woman charged after nephew, 5, thrown into pit toilet

23 August 2021 - 15:41 By Yoliswa Sobuwa
The boy was rescued by his sister, 15, who heard his cries for help. Stock photo.
The boy was rescued by his sister, 15, who heard his cries for help. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/scanrail

A 44-year-old woman has been arrested for attempted murder after she allegedly assaulted her five-year-old nephew and dumped him in a pit toilet.

The woman from Ngojini village in Cofimvaba, in the Eastern Cape, will appear in the Cofimvaba magistrate’s court on Monday.

Police spokesperson Brig Thembinkosi Kinana said the woman was arrested on Thursday. The boy spent several hours in the toilet and survived with injuries.

“She allegedly sent the child to one of the bungalows in the yard to get a pencil. She then followed him and that is when the child said she started beating him. She covered him with a blanket and ordered the boy not to cry. She also tried to strangle him with a rope before dumping him in a pit toilet,” Kinana said.

The boy's 15-year-old sister heard screams from the toilet after he was said to have gone missing the day before while playing with other children. The girl said she asked her brother who had thrown him into the toilet.

“I was about to relieve myself in another toilet when I heard a voice calling my name. I was shocked to see my brother, who said our aunt threw him in the toilet after she strangled him. The first thing I did was to take him out of the toilet and bathe him,” she said.

A relative of the woman said the family was disturbed by the atrocious act.

“He is doing fine at the moment because he has been playing with other children. He is left only with the marks around his neck where he was strangled. Unfortunately, his mother left him about a month ago to look for employment and we have not heard from her since then,” she said.

“She [the aunt] just arrived from Cape Town and we don’t know what could have led her to do this. We suspect that she might have thought he was dead after beating him, which is why she threw him in the toilet. As a family we will go to court to fight for her not to get bail.” 

Zwelethu Makuleni, the principal at Ngojini Primary School, where the boy is a grade R pupil, said the incident was disturbing.

“We received a report on Thursday about what happened. I immediately took him to the clinic so that they could check him and the police were called. He was stinking of human faeces even though his sister had bathed him,” Makuleni said.

Petrus Majola, director of the Khula development centre, which works for children’s rights, has called for justice to take its course.

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