Fortune fears to walk alone

Benson Ntlemo

Benson Ntlemo

The eight-year-old boy who had his genitals sliced off by a suspected muti trader has been discharged from GaRankuwa Hospital near Pretoria and is back at school.

Fortune Khumalo, of Jilongo village near Malamulele in Limpopo, went to school for the first time on Monday since the attack on August 5.

His mother, Nancy Siweya, said her son was emotionally unstable and distrusted people.

"I have to accompany him to school because he is deeply afraid of strangers," Siweya said.

This is despite the fact that Shigombe Primary School, which Fortune attends, is just a stone's throw from their household.

"The whole incident has turned my life upside down," Siweya said.

"My husband and I were proud to have a handsome young boy and we thought he would have children one day who would look after him.

"But now we are saddened by the thought that he will not be able to have children of his own," his mother said.

She said that Fortune used to be a good pupil and she felt he would do the family proud.

Siweya spent a month in GaRankuwa. She found lodging in an informal settlement and had to pay a R12 daily return transport fare to visit her son in hospital.

Her husband does not have a steady job, and she had to rely on donations from Shigombe School.

"I am supposed to go back to GaRankuwa for my son's appointment with doctors on November 6," she said.

The boy's paternal grandmother, Sophie Khumalo, said: "When the boy came back from hospital I was happy. But my happiness is spoilt by the thought that he will not have children of his own and will not have a wife as a result of this terrible deed," she said.

School principal Ronny Hlungwani said at school the boy needed someone to accompany him to the toilet as he was always afraid to walk alone. He said the Fortune Khumalo Family Trust Fund had not received as much response from South Africans as it was hoped.

"We still call on our people to support this family as what has happened to the boy is something they cannot cope with on their own," he said.

The fund's account number is: 62151417360. The bank is FNB, Malamulele branch.