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A Mpumalanga mother is accusing police of refusing to let her open a case of attempted murder after the Mbombela local municipality garbage collectors threw her seven-year-old son into the back of a rubbish truck.
The truck was full of garbage when the workers allegedly locked the boy in it to "teach him a lesson".
Precious Nyapelo of KaBokweni near White River told Sowetan that her son, Tshepiso Masuku, had been playing with two friends when the municipality truck arrived last week.
"I'm told that the kids were playing and shouting 'one plus one' next to where the garbage collectors were busy. They apparently thought the children were belittling them by saying they couldn't add one plus one," said Nyapelo.
She said she was shocked when a member of the community who witnessed what happened told her that the garbage collectors interpreted it that way.
The boy came home stained and smelling but was too afraid to say anything. His friends eventually spoke out.
Mbombela municipality spokesman Vusi Sibiya said Nyapelo should lay a complaint with the municipality's community service department.
KaBokweni police spokesman Constable Muzi Ngomane promised to get a detailed report from the cops who refused to assist Nyapelo.