A 12-YEAR-OLD boy at Madelakufa section in Thembisa is fighting for his life at the local hospital after bullies doused him with benzine and set him alight on Monday.

Banele Dlephu, a Grade 6 pupil at Isakelo Primary School, is lying in hospital with burns to his face, neck and right arm.

The boy's sin was to tell his mother that the bullies took money from him on Sunday.

Banele was on his way to a friend's house when the bullies blocked his way and one of them doused him with benzine and the other set him alight.

"He left the house at about 4pm after having his meal but a few minutes later his younger brother came home crying, saying Banele was on fire," the mother, Sibongile Dlephu, saidyesterday.

She said an ambulance was called to take her son to hospital but it only came an hour later.

Dlephu said the two bullies had started harassing Banele on Sunday.

"He came home crying at about 5pm on Sunday, saying the boys took R11 from him and he was scared of them," she said.

"I went out to look for them and found that they had already bought bread with the money.

"When I asked them to give me the money they took from my son they insulted me and I then left them alone," Dlephu said.

She said her son's condition was getting worse.

"His eyesight is failing, his face is deformed and he struggles to eat," she said.

"His face is so swollen that I was even afraid to go near to him when I visited him today (yesterday)."

She described her son as a quiet boy who got along very well with other children.

"I am hurting and struggle to sleep at night because I'm afraid that my son might not make it."

Police spokesperson Captain Manyadza Ralidzhivha said two 15-year-old boys had been taken into custody and face charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The two are expected to appear in the Thembisa magistrate's court today.