The family of the 9-year-old boy whose brutal torture at the hands of three men was captured on video has broken their silence.
His mom, 24, who cannot be named, says her son is receiving psychological help to deal with the trauma.
The boy was accused of stealing R600 and his tor mentors tied him up, electrocuted and beat him and then placed him head first in a wheelie bin which they filled with water from a hosepipe.
The incident happened on 27 January in Klapmuts and out of more than five people who were present during the torture, three people were arrested and charged with assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Justin Limco, 21, Nathan Niewenhuis, 24, and Zane Marthinus, 34, appeared in court on Tuesday and their case was postponed to 27 February for a formal bail application.
The boy’s mother tells the Daily Voice: “My son was left very traumatised.
“He was a playful child, but now he has become withdrawn. I was alerted to the video and I couldn’t believe what happened to my child.
“After he was almost killed, he ran to his grand mother’s house which is close to where the incident happened.
“I took him away from there. He is not doing well. “I expected him to have nightmares. I am watching him closely in case he starts having episodes. I know this has damaged him mentally.”
Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen says he was appalled by the video that went viral.
Allen says: “This is clearly highly traumatic and I am aware that our sister department, social development, is attending to the boy. No child deserves this.
“The second-quarter crime statistics, July 2023 to September 2023, shows that 334 children were victims of grievous bodily harm [GBH]. This is 19 fewer than the previous year, but one assault is one too many.
“I am pleased that three suspects have been arrested and charged. I urge the judge to deny them bail, as these men do not deserve to roam our streets.”
Western Cape Department of Social Development MEC, Sharna Fernandez, confirms that a social worker was sent out to find the child and investigate the incident.
Fernandez says: “The social worker has been in contact with the child’s family to discuss options for psychosocial support, such as counselling.
“I strongly condemn the gruesome assault we saw being inflicted on a young child.
“We will now leave it to the justice system to run its course.”