Just when you think you’ve heard it all: A couple in the Eastern Cape that was arrested for assaulting a 12-year-old boy and forcing him to eat his own faeces, have each been released on R500 bail.
The matter was heard in the Queenstown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 23 June 2021, where they appeared. Intially, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had said the couple, 39-year-old Asanda Mkoko and 28-year-old Ayabulela Yolanda Buso would be charged with attempted murder, child abuse and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Eastern Cape boy forced to eat faeces – here’s what happened:
According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Eastern Cape, the couple had caught the boy relieving himself in front of their gate, in Nkululekweni township, Komani. They were arrested after neighbours who witnessed the incident, alerted police.
“According to the information, a 12-year-old boy was playing with his friend on Saturday afternoon when he allegedly relieved himself in front of the gate of the suspects’ house,” police spokesperson Brig Tembinkosi Kinana said at the time.
“The report further suggests that while he was busy relieving himself, the couple came out and assaulted the child and forced him to eat his own faeces,” Kinana said.
Making a child touch faeces, let alone eat it, is unheard of but apparently not new in the Eastern Cape: Back in March 2021, a school principal in Tsolo was arrested for allegedly forcing a pupil to search for his missing cellphone in a faeces-filled pit toilet.
According to reports, Lubeko Mgandela, the principal of Luthuthu Junior Secondary School, in the Joe Gqabi district, had told an 11-year-old pupil to search for his cellphone which had fallen into the toilet.
It is believed that he enlisted the help of other pupils to tie a rope around the child and lower him into the pit to retrieve the cellphone. The incident is believed to have left the pupil traumatised and prompted the provincial Education department to provide psycho-social assistance.