A young boy kept chained in a shack, allegedly by his father, had scars all over his body, say members of his community.
Residents of a Peddie village in Eastern Cape have vowed to continue protesting to stop a 53-year-old man from getting bail after he was arrested for allegedly raping his son and keeping him chained in a shack.
The boy escaped on 31 May and asked neighbours for help. His legs were still shackled. After freeing him from his chains the community called the police.
Four days later the father was arrested at a relative’s house in Motherwell, Gqeberha, which is about 180km away. Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed that he was on the run from 31 May until his arrest on 4 June.
The community and the police have received praise for their swift intervention.
Community members gathered at the court to watch the man appear before a magistrate on Tuesday said the boy and his father lived in the same one-room shack and the mother did not reside with them.
The boy has been removed from his home and is now in a place of safety. He was also given medical treatment. Community members said the boy’s body was covered in scars.
The father will appear in court again on 13 June.
The child’s mother came to court on Tuesday as did his paternal grandmother.
Sithembele Ndwayana, the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) regional task team member in Peddie, said they were shocked by what happened.
“This is disgusting,” she said. “As the [ANCWL], we are fighting against the abuse of women and young girls. We didn’t expect that young boys were also facing this kind of abuse from their biological father,” she said.
Ndwayana said they were mobilising hundreds of people to support the child on 13 June at court.
“All of them want that father to rot in jail,” she said.
A youth leader in Peddie, Phumlile Nkolwana, said the young people in the Peddie villages were angry about what had happened to the boy.
“As young people, we are against this kind of abuse and what angers us most is that this was done by a father. He was supposed to protect the child. We believe there are many young boys who are also victims of this kind of abuse but they are quiet.”
Traditional leader Nobulali Fulani said they were happy that the father was arrested.
“We are happy that he was not released today and we are happy that he is still behind bars. This did not only affect the eight-year-old but all the young people in the villages are traumatised,” Fulani said.
The father appeared calm as he made a brief court appearance. DM2023-06-06T20:17:30Z dg43tfdfdgfd