Michael Tlhakudi

A young white couple has been arrested for allegedly inciting their dogs to attack their black neighbour's children in Panorama Park, Bloemfontein, last Friday.

The children, aged six and 10, were playing in front of their home in a housing complex when two dogs attacked them.

The younger child suffered a bad leg injury and was admitted to the Rose Park Hospital in Bloemfontein.

The children's mother, who wanted to remain anonymous for "security reasons", confirmed that her children were attacked by the neighbour's dogs.

She said at about 11am she received a call at work informing her that her child had been bitten by dogs. She rushed home.

When she asked them the couple was reluctant to tell her what had happened. She later found out that the couple had deliberately let the dogs out of their kennels.

When she insisted on an answer, the couple claimed that the children had been teasing the dogs for weeks and the animals retaliated.

The mother said: "What surprised me and everyone else is that my children only arrived in Bloemfontein on Monday from Johannesburg for the school holidays.

"How could they have teased the dogs for weeks if they were not here? This is clearly a racist-motivated incident.

"The housing complex is predominantly white and this shows that these people do want us here."

Sowetan visited the complex yesterday and found that the white couple had moved.

According to Asanda Mphongwana, a neighbour who was an eyewitness, it was not the first attack on black children.

Mphongwana said: "We complained to the complex owners on several occasions but had no luck."

Caretaker Jacket Mokhoya said he was aware of the incident because it had caused havoc in the complex.

Inspector Hendrick Welthagen of the Navalsig police station confirmed that a case was opened and that a suspect is due to appear in court tomorrow.