Two boys, aged 10 and 12, have been arrested for murder after they allegedly assaulted to death a 73-year-old pensioner for his old- age pension grant in Ubombo, northern Zululand.
The incident that has shocked the rural community happened at Mboza reserve on Sunday.
Police spokesman Captain Jabulani Mdletshe said one of the two boys was the pensioner's grandson and the other a neighbour.
Mdletshe said the boys had information that the pensioner had some money and colluded to rob him.
"The boys approached him at his house and demanded a share of his grant, and when he refused, they assaulted him with sticks. They then took R600 and left him with only a R100 note to go to the nearest clinic," said Mdletshe.
He said the pensioner gained some strength and was able to crawl to a nearby homestead, from where he was taken to a clinic.
He died a few hours later.
The boys were expected to appear in the Ubombo magistrate's court yesterday to face a murder charge.
Childline spokesman Linda Naidoo said there were many contributing factors that might lead children to do such a horrible thing. She attributed it to mainly the volatile environment they grew up in.
"Most children grow up under volatile situations at homes where assault and beatings are common. They grow up with an attitude that if you want something, you steal it or assault someone and get away with it," said Naidoo.
She said there has been a loss of respect for adults as well as the values children used to grow up under.
"A lot has changed lately. We lack role models for our young children and this is hitting us badly. Children now lack self-control and feel that the only way of resolving conflict is through violence," said Naidoo.
Meanwhile, the body of a 25-year-old Durban man was found with his throat slit yesterday. Inspector Michael Read said the body of Sipho Buthelezi was found in his garden in Shambalala Road, Inanda, at 7.30am.
"The motive and the suspects are known to police and the murder is being investigated.
Arrests are expected soon," Read said.