Sat Oct 22 04:02:48 SAST 2016

Mentally ill boy 'burnt at school'

By unknown | Mar 26, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

The mother of a 14-year-old mentally impaired boy is angry at the Department of Education following allegations that her son had sustained third-degree burns during a bath at his school.

Now the boy, Ablonia Sehlako, spends most of the time sleeping because of the pain from the burns.

Angela Sehlako took her son to Helene Franz Special School in Senwabarwana, about 100km north-east of Polokwane, last month to attend with children with similar disabilities.

But now she regrets having taken the boy to the school.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday after her horrific experience, Sehlako said she went to the school to visit her son but she wasbaffled by his condition.

There were visible third-degree burns on his buttocks.

She said the boy told her that his teachers had undressed him and put him in the bath and he burnt minutes after contact with the water.

The mother said the teachers allegedly told the boy not to tell her when she came to visit.

She said she asked teachers why the boy was sitting on a hip of blankets and was told he had developed blisters.

"I took the boy to the nearby Helene Franz Hospital and nurses there also said it was not fire or water burns but blisters," she said.

"I therefore opted for a third opinion from a special doctor, who told me that the boy was burnt either by fire or hot water.

"I have evidence.

"This is not war. All I need is the truth and why lies had been fabricated in the first place," Sehlako said.

Provincial spokesperson for the department of education, Ndo Mangala, said the department was aware of the matter and that they had instituted investigations.

Mangala said it was unusual for staffers to deliberately put the child in hot water because they were trained to deal with children.


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