'Tortured' child removed
A 12-YEAR-OLD traumatised North West boy has been moved to a place of safety after he was allegedly tortured by the police.
A month ago the boy scrambled to the side of a road to report that his four-year-old cousin, Otlotleng Morake, was trapped in mud on a riverbed.
When he returned to the fated spot, his cousin had disappeared.
Since then he has been subjected to an agonising ordeal at the hands of the local Koster police.
He was slapped severely, leading to an inflamed inner ear, traumatised and has been unable to concentrate at school.
The boy was also ordered by the police to get into the water and find his cousin.
This led to the North West Police Department instituting charges of unfair treatment to a witness and a minor.
It also emerged that two weeks ago the boy was subjected to a lie detector test at the Koster police station without the consent and the presence of his legal guardian.
An investigation is under way by the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID).
The provincial police said in a statement that the case concerning the assault of the 12-year-old is being dealt with by the IPID "for further investigation and handling".
The boy's aunt, Noko Mogoma, said yesterday that he had been taken by social workers after he showed signs of erratic behaviour.
"They told us there will be no contact with him for at least three weeks as he undergoes observation."
His aunt added: "The school also told us that he does not cope with his studies after an attempt to return him to school was made. He has missed almost a month of schooling."
Joseph Mpedi from Childline said yesterday that a lie detector test can not be administered to a child. Even a court of law can not enforce it.
"This should not have happened as they violated the dignity of the child. According to Child Justice only the probation officer is allowed to assess the child."
Mogoma said: "The boy has been removed from his home and has has been relocated to a place of safety.
"The social workers say the child is being asked too many questions."
Meanwhile, the frantic search for little Morake continues.
There has been little information or movement in the case since he was reported missing on May 12.
It is alleged the two boys took a lift to Kruilfontein, almost 30km from Koster, to visit their aunt without their mothers' knowledge.
They never reached the destination. - email@example.com