‘I tried to get help but was sent pack­ing’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - ASANDA SOKANYILE

THE mother who chained her son to keep him safe has tried to get as­sis­tance at the Bosasa Youth De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre, but says she was turned away and told her son could only be ad­mit­ted af­ter be­ing re­ferred by the courts. “Es­sen­tially he had to be ar­rested, charged and sen­tenced be­fore they could take him in.”

But ac­cord­ing to Sihle Ngob­ese, spokesper­son for So­cial De­vel­op­ment MEC Albert Fritz, “Ad­mis­sion of chil­dren to treat­ment cen­tres is sub­ject to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Chil­dren’s Act 38 of 2005, which can move a child to tem­po­rary safe care with­out a court or­der.”

The depart­ment has “asked so­cial work­ers from the lo­cal of­fice and from the depart­ment’s Sub­stance Abuse Pro­gramme, to look into the mat­ter”.

The mother has also tried send­ing him to rel­a­tives, in­clud­ing his fa­ther in the East­ern Cape, but he was sent back.

Pa­tric Solomon, direc­tor of Molo Son­gololo, a child pro­tec­tion or­gan­i­sa­tion, said: “The mother must seek help; she must have sup­port from her fam­ily and com­mu­nity, and the child must be re­ported to So­cial De­vel­op­ment for con­sid­er­a­tion to be placed in a drug detox­i­fi­ca­tion and treat­ment pro­gramme.

“If the depart­ment can’t help, she must go to the Chil­dren’s Court for her child to be placed in a ‘place of safety’ and to be put in a dru­gre­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme.”

asanda.sokanyile@inl.co.za

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