The South African Police Service (SAPS) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is on a search for the relative of a seven-year-old boy who was attacked with a sjambok and forced to eat a dog.

The incident took place in Qakwini, Mtubatuba. It was the neighbours who were concerned and called the provincial department of social development to intervene in the matter. The department’s spokesperson has been taken to a place of safety and currently receiving psychosocial support.

“We heard that the dog died and then this guy arrived he took the sjambok and started assaulting the seven-year-old, accusing him of being the one who killed the dog. He forced him to eat the flesh of that dog, but one of the neighbours who noticed that she actually came to the rescue of the child.”

“This act is disgusting. People who abuse children can never be tolerated. The child has since been moved to a child centre by our social worker. He is getting all the support he needs. The social workers will also remain with that family as it appears that all of them have been suffering abuse and need the department’s intervention,” he said.

KZN police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala says they’re investigating a case of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. For now, the young boy’s relative, who they believe is responsible for the abuse, is nowhere to be seen.

“Allegedy, a seven-year-old boy was assaulted with a sjambok by a relative while at his home in Qakwini area. The matter is still under investigation. Police are still investigating the allegation that the suspect forced the minor to eat a dead puppy,” Gwala said.

The provincial department of social development has called on law enforcement officials to leave on stone unturned in tracking the suspect and bringing them to book.

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