Cops probe 'worst child abuse case'

Mthetho Ndoni

Mthetho Ndoni

A miserly 30 cents almost ended a five-year-old Port Elizabeth girl's life when she was allegedly burnt by her parents.

The girl, of Kleinskool township, was allegedly burnt by her mother and stepfather on Tuesday last week because they claimed she had stolen the money, but this was only discovered by the police this Tuesday.

The parents have been arrested and are in custody.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday from her bed in Dora Nginza Hospital, where she is recuperating from severe burn wounds, the girl, who cannot be identified, said her mother had put her hands on a hotplate while her stepfather whipped her with a belt.

" I screamed but no one came to my rescue," she said.

Police said they found the girl wandering in the streets after calls about a child walking around with burn wounds on her hands.

"We found her in the street playing with old bandages and she had in her hands something that looked like an ointment," said Inspector Ruan Bezuidenhout, of the violence, child abuse and sexual crimes unit.

"This is the worst case of child abuse I have ever seen."

The parents are expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth magistrates' court tomorrow.