Family can’t find closure after man accused of assaulting child dies following beating
While the little girl who was violently assaulted during a home invasion in Chatty 12 more than two weeks ago is slowly recovering, the man attacked by community members who believed he was the perpetrator has died.
Little Shannon Botha’s family said yesterday they remained hopeful the three-year-old would make a full recovery. Shannon, who is still in Dora Nginza Hospital, has improved from a critical to stable condition.
Shannon and her grandmother, Tershia Botha, 47, suffered severe head wounds during the brutal assault on June 3.
Tershia died three days after the attack, after having already been declared brain-dead as a result of her injuries. Shannon’s aunt, Leatitia Goliath, said the toddler still had issues with walking and talking as well as with her sight, but they remained hopeful as they continued to witness her recovery.
“Judging from the condition she was in when brought to the hospital, to where she is now, we consider it a major victory – especially because we initially thought we would lose her too,” Goliath said.
“She remains in the hospital for further testing and observation. “Yesterday [Monday], the doctors told us she still has swelling on her brain which is affecting her speech and sight.
“But at least she is now able to recognise our different voices and, while she can’t have a full conversation, she is talking more than she ever has since the attack happened.”
The day after the attack, enraged residents pulled Madoda “Doopla” Tesana – whom they accused of perpetrating the assault – from his shack 10m from the victims’ home and beat him and pelted him with stones.
The residents allege he was responsible for the attack and two similar incidents in the same street over the past year. Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg confirmed yesterday that Tesana had since died as a result of the injuries he sustained.
“The man who was injured during the retaliation attack passed away in Livingstone Hospital on [June 9] as a result of his injuries,” she said.
“The charge in his case has now changed from attempted murder to murder. “With regard to the little girl and grandmother, police are investigating a case of attempted murder and murder.
“There have been no new findings in all of the cases, but police continue to investigate the matter.” Janse van Rensburg reiterated previous calls for residents with information about the case to contact the Bethelsdorp Police Station.
Speaking about Tesana’s death, Goliath said: “We are still very upset about the attack and all the events that followed.
“His death doesn’t really bring us much closure as it has not been proven that he was behind the attack.” However, Tershia’s friend and neighbour, Nicole Braman, disagreed, saying: “He got exactly what he deserved.
“You can’t go around hurting people and endangering their lives without suffering the consequences.” The Tesana family could not be reached for comment.