A biological mother left her two year- old son with her mother (the maternal grandmother) to go and look for work in the Cape, and never again made contact with him.

The family did not know who the biological father was. When the grandmother passed away in 2016, the biological mother’s sister, who also lived with the grandmother, took over the care of the little boy. In October 2019, the community brought it to the family’s attention that the aunt was abusing the child. The child never wanted to acknowledge the allegations, telling the family that he can handle the “maltreatment”.

Next, Badisa’s social worker performed a risk assessment and followed the statutory intervention process. On the day that the boy was taken away from the aunt, she pushed him around and tried to intimidate him because he “complained”. She swore at the social worker and insulted her, saying that she, as the child’s carer, covered all the child’s costs. She would not allow the boy to take along anything that she had bought him. Only once the social worker intervened, did she allow the child to pack his clothes and belongings in a black bag before going to the safety parents.

The boy was mistreated physically and emotionally. He mentioned that they stopped hitting him since December, provided he did all the tasks they gave him. Allegedly, the carer’s two daughters would hold him down so that she could hit and pinch him. The community members told the boy it is better to do as he was told to prevent the abuse – until they could no longer witness it and reported it.

The boy is currently doing very well in the foster parents’ care. His self-confidence and self-esteem are growing in an environment where he is receiving unconditional acceptance and care.

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