Principal found guilty of biting boy, 6, at creche

Woman admits action, but says, 'I'm not a cannibal'

A King William's Town school principal has been found guilty of biting a six-year-old boy at creche.
A King William's Town school principal has been found guilty of biting a six-year-old boy at creche.

“I am not a cannibal,” a creche principal who has been found guilty of biting a six-year-old boy in her care in 2016 said.

Joyful Noise principal Cindy Reely, 45, of King William’s Town, pleaded guilty and was subsequently convicted in the King William’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) provincial spokesperson Tsepo Ndwalaza said the case had been postponed to August 16 for a presentencing report.

Reely said on Wednesday that she had pleaded guilty on the advice of her lawyer.

She admitted that she had bitten the child, but said no harm had been intended.

She confirmed she was still teaching at the school, with about 25 children in her class.

“I am not a cannibal. I have been taking care of children for more than 20 years,” she said.

Reely accused the boy’s 58-year-old grandmother, who cannot be named to protect the child’s identity, of “making a mountain out of a molehill”.

“Yes, I did bite the child and the intention was to teach him that biting another child was wrong,” she said.

“It was a case of an eye for an eye. I placed my teeth on his arm, but my teeth did not penetrate [his skin].

“My lawyer advised me to plead guilty so the case could be hurried up and finalised.”

Speaking after the verdict, the emotional grandmother said the verdict was validation that she had fought a worthy fight.

“I remember when the story first came out, some people on social media did not understand my motives,” she said.

“All I ever wanted was to show people that everyone has a right to stand up against what is wrong and the verdict has proved my motive.

“This was not supposed to have happened to any human being, especially a child who does not know how to stand up for [himself].

“I did not want my grandson to grow up and one day ask me how come I had never done anything about what happened to him.

“He is [now] a happy boy.

“We have taken him for counselling and, for now, he seems OK, but I fear one day the memory of the incident, which he managed to store in the back of his mind, might be unlocked.

“I have nothing against Reely personally, but everything against her action,” the woman said.

– Daily Dispatch