Father of boy fed liquid dishwashing soap at crèche wants justice

The principal of a Kempton Park crèche will be charged after she allegedly fed dish washing liquid to a five-year-old boy as a form of punishment earlier this year.

This emerged as Gauteng Department of Social Development head Nandi Mayathula-Khoza visited Grace Day Care and Aftercare on Monday in Norkem Park along with provincial South African Police Services authorities.

Speaking to TMG Digital‚ Lieutenant-Colonel Tobie Strauss of Ekurhuleni North said the principal would face charges relating “to child abuse and/or the alternative will be common assault”.

“This docket will be taken to the senior state prosecutor for a decision to decide to place it on a [court] roll‚” said Strauss‚ adding that the investigation has been completed.

The incident – which reportedly happened on 19 April‚ a day before the child’s mother’s birthday – was only pursued last week after the SABC took up the father’s plight.

“The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 stipulates that children need to be in an environment in which they are cared for and protected in order to be safe‚” said Mayathula-Khoza.

“We spoke to the owners of the crèche and they said they thought the matter was spoken about with the father…and was resolved. The father feels very aggrieved and says that the child is psychologically affected.

“The school says there was an apology from the [child’s educator] to the parents and that there was a warning letter to the [principal]‚ but then my officials have requested for a copy of the warning letter and it’s not forthcoming. We want to leave the matter in the hands of the police because it has now been reported and we want the law to take its course‚” added Mayathula-Khoza.

The father‚ Ishmael Mazhwavava‚ said the principal had admitted to making the child swallow dishwashing liquid after his son was accused of biting another child at the centre.

Mazhwavava‚ who immigrated to South Africa from Zimbabwe in 2009‚ had been trying to lay a complaint at a local police station since the incident happened‚ but the police were allegedly unsure about which charge to pursue‚ and a case was not opened.

It was only when he approached Child Welfare for help that the police acted last week.

The boy has since been enrolled at another crèche.

The day care centre has not yet commented.

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