Cape Town – The Department of Social Development is investigating Mitchells Plain parents for child abuse after the mom allegedly locked up her three children, including a three-month-old baby, in a dark corner while she went to smoke drugs.
The parents were caught after concerned neighbour, Delmaine Samuels, 43, posted a video on Facebook of the crying, hungry and filthy children who were locked inside the backyard shack.
The video was filmed at a house in Hawk Crescent, Rocklands, and was reported to Mitchells Plain police and Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez.
The recording was made on Sunday and posted on social media the next day by Samuels after he once again found the three children, aged seven, three and three months old, crying in their parents’ shack.
“They both smoke tik and the father also smokes mandrax,” says an angry Samuels.
“There are a lot of fights and you can hear them skel (argue) all the time.
“The seven-year-old boy is forced to look after his sister, who is about three years old, and the baby brother.
“He is not even in school anymore because his mother leaves them there to go smoke drugs.”
He says neighbours have tried to intervene and help feed the dirty children.“The place is filthy and there are mice in there. The smell is so bad because they make number one and two in the hokkie and just throw out the buckets.
“On Sunday I took the seven-year-old to a party with us so he can get out a little bit and not long after we came back, I heard his mother shouting at him again.
“When I went to look, I saw the children were locked up and the baby was crying.
“After I made the video, I forced the door open and took them out. We changed the baby and fed them.”
In the video, the young boy can be seen holding his crying baby brother as he explains that he can’t open the door.
The kids are barefoot and wearing dirty clothes.
“The video went viral and someone told the mother about my video and she came and took the children away and disappeared,” says Samuels.
“The police came, but she was gone already. The social workers also came to the house and took photos of the living conditions.
“I posted it because I am worried about these children and have spoken to the parents many times.”
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, confirms: “Both parents have been taken to the local offices of the social worker. The attending social worker will investigate and report back to SAPS in the eventuality if any criminal charges must be levied.”
Joshua Chigome, spokesperson for Fernandez, confirms the department is awaiting feedback from social workers.