SA doomed if abuse continues

During the past few weeks this newspaper and many other publications have run shocking stories on incidents of child abuse and neglect, cases which are worryingly on the rise.

One of the stories that shocked the nation was that of a father in Springs on the East Rand who is accused of abusing his five children while keeping them captive for more than a decade. The 36-year-old allegedly tortured his children, aged between two and 16, with electric cables and burnt them with a blow torch. Even more disturbing are allegations of the doctor’s report which reportedly showed the man’s 16-year-old daughter was sexually active but had never left the house.

Yesterday, another horrific story revealed how four children were, for eight years, caged like animals in a darkened room in their Alexandra township home by their parents.

Also this month, a man was arrested after assaulting his girlfriend’s two-year-old son. The monster allegedly slapped and kicked the boy in the face, scalded his feet with boiling water, put a brick on his chest and stamped on it and forced the boy to eat his own faeces.

A few weeks ago, a mother was arrested after she dumped her 16-month-old on a very busy highway. Reports suggest the child was nearly hit by a truck as he was walking along the freeway.

These horrific incidents are sadly a true reflection of our society. We are an extremely violent society, in which attacks on children are routine occurrences. What is highly troubling is that most perpetrators of these heinous crimes are parents, the very same people who are supposed to lead from the front in taking care of their offspring.

We are a doomed nation once we fail to protect our most vulnerable.


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