A CASE of child abuse is being investigated after a group of protesters picketing outside the McLaren Circus in Nelson Mandela Bay placed an eight-year-old girl inside a cage as part of an animal rights demonstration.
According to the policeman who laid the complaint, the cage could not be opened from the inside. But the child’s father vehemently denied this.
Warrant Officer Anthony Mallett, who was on the scene and opened the criminal case, said after confronting the protesters and the child’s aunt, the group refused to let the little girl out of the cage.
“I told the guardian to let the child out of the cage which [the group] originally declined [to do], claiming that she got into the cage by herself.
“After I insisted that they let the child out, one of the adults climbed inside the cage,” he said.
“The bottom line is that a guardian has a responsibility to look after a minor and part of that is not putting an eight-year-old inside a cage in a public car park in the baking sun. “The cage can also only be opened from the outside.”
The girl’s father, a restaurant manager at a Summerstrand eatery, however, lashed out at Mallett, claiming he had intimidated the child who was willingly taking part in the protest.
– Gareth Wilson and Angela Daniels
For the full story read The Herald, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition.