An investigation has been launched into the alleged assault of two special needs teenagers.
An eThekwini metro police officer allegedly forced the two boys, aged 13 and 16, to drink petrol in an attempt to get them to admit that they had stolen something from his house.
The boys, from Savanna Park near Pinetown, are pupils at Ningizimu Special School in Montclair, Durban.
The mother of one of the boys told TimesLIVE that the metro police officer was a neighbour. She said a case had been opened at the Mariannhill police station.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said charges of attempted murder and kidnapping were under investigation.
And, according to metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda called for an investigation. Sewpersad directed further queries to the mayor’s office.
Mayoral spokesperson Mluleki Mntungwa said Kaunda had requested a full report from the metro police.
KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza confirmed the incident, saying that the boys were injured and that one was taken to a hospital.
“It is alleged that the officer pointed his service pistol at the boys and forced them to admit that they had broken into his home on Saturday, before forcing them to drink petrol,” Khoza said.
Menawhile, VelaNjabulo Foundation chairperson Njabulo Mabaso, who worked with the younger child at his school, is calling for justice, saying that the incident highlighted a societal issue.
He said the younger child had been beaten and burnt and that he had been accused of stealing a hair weave.
“We are very shocked that things of this nature are still happening,” said Mabaso.
“Someone who is a representative of the law should know not to take the law into their own hands. This is a scourge in our community. People with disabilities being victimised is becoming the norm. We condemn any form of violence.”
Khoza added: “We are alarmed and quite frankly‚ disgusted by this incident. It is very shocking that an officer of the law will point a firearm at children and force them to admit to have broken into his home. We will not tolerate any form of behaviour that threatens the safety and well-being of children.”
The social development department has dispatched a team of social workers to meet the victims’ families and provide them with psychosocial support.
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