Raped girl (8) is recovering well in hospital
"We need prayers to stop this madness in our society"
AS POLITICIANS and religious groups prayed for the eight-year-old girl whose eye was gouged out in a horror rape attack last week, the little girl sat on her bed colouring pictures in a book.
Her battered face lit up when KwaZulu-Natal social development MEC Weziwe Thusi entered her room in hospital where she is recovering.
The Grade 2 pupil, who cannot be named as she is a minor, has been described by her family as a "child full of hope".
The family said when the little girl learnt that her other eye was removed, she exclaimed: "I can see with my other eye".
A week ago, she was walking from school at Mvutshini village in Gingindlovu, northern KwaZulu-Natal, with a 15-year-old boy when he allegedly dragged her into a sugar- cane field where he attacked her.
He allegedly tried to gouge out both her eyes and attempted to strangle her. The girl dragged herself to her home, where she collapsed in front of her grandmother.
Her 75-year-old grandmother said yesterday: "I had lost faith that she will come back (from hospital) able to see. But I was very excited when I received a call from a woman taking care of her in hospital telling me that she wanted to talk to me. She said over the phone: 'Gogo, now I can see'. I thank God for that.
"I'm grateful for everything done for us during our traumatic experience. There has been enormous sympathy ... the boy's family also visited us."
The attack has left the close-knit community shocked.
Neighbours described the boy as quiet and respectful. He moved to the village from Inanda two years ago.
It is alleged that before the attack, the boy tried to strangle another eight-year-old girl at the school's toilets.
He has been charged with rape and attempted murder and was released into his family's custody until his next court appearance.
The boy is expected to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
His family has not disclosed where he is living, but Uthungulu district municipality mayor Thembeka Mchunu yesterday informed Thusi that several parents reported to her that their daughters were afraid to go to school because they believed that the boy would attack them too.
Trauma councillors will visit the school today to counsel pupils.
When Thusi visited the boy's family yesterday, his guardian was inconsolable as she explained that she could not understand why the brutal attack was committed.
"Our families had been very close and even shared food. But for the demons to separate us this way is very painful. I've been to the victim's family and some people are not the same but I was welcomed by the child's grandmother although others are still angry about what happened," she sobbed.
Thusi said she visited the boy's family because they needed support as well. "All the families are in pain. As the community, we need to understand that there is no parent that can send a child to do wrong to another family," she said.
Thusi called on religious leaders and the community to be part of the government's plan to deal with the moral decay in the society. "We need prayers to stop this madness in our society. I'm grateful the boy's family also met the victim's family."