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‘Kennel’ boy is rescued

A boy of 12, found chained and locked in a dog kennel, was rescued by Mdantsane police at the weekend. A man, 25, was arrested.
Cambridge police spokesperson Captain Mluleki Mbi said the man would be charged with kidnapping and assault.
“He will appear in court on Monday in the Mdantsane magistrate's court.”
The arrest came about after a video showing a boy in a wire cage crying uncontrollably in front of scores of shocked people went viral on Facebook.
The voice of a man can be heard trying to calm the boy telling him help was coming while some women could be heard screaming: “Where are the police?”
Mbi said the captive boy had lived with his grandmother in NU1 and had allegedly been kidnapped from the Esplanade in East London and taken to a home in NU8 where he was locked in the cage outside the home.
Mbi said the grandmother refused to open a case against the man who had locked up her grandson because she said he had done her a favour because the boy had run away, was living on the streets and was getting into trouble.
Mbi said the police's Child Protection, Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit had overruled the woman and opened a case.
Speaking to the Dispatch from her NU1 home, the grandmother said the man had tried to help her and meant well. She explained that her grandson had been locked in the cage on Thursday afternoon and released on Friday morning when members of the community arrived. This was confirmed by the boy.
She said her grandson started running with the wrong crowd in 2016 and dropped out of school in 2017.
She suspected substance abuse, mainly glue, was involved and that it started with three friends in their school toilets when the boy was in Grade 3.
“He started going missing a lot because his friends are permanently staying at the beachfront. He disappears from us to stay on the streets with them.”
The granny said it was not the first time the man – who lives in her neighbourhood – had “rescued” her grandson from the streets.
“In 2017 he brought my grandson home after meeting him by chance at the beachfront begging for food money. That man asked where he was from and brought him home and tried his best to teach him what is good and bad.”
The woman, 59, who had just got home from a service at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, said it would not be right in the “Lord's eyes” to press charges.
“That man even tried to get him registered back at school in 2018, but he escaped and went back to his street life at the last minute. We have tried everything possible to support him.
“Members of the public and police would bring him here often after taking him off the streets but he would return.”
The boy, who may not be named as he is still a minor, was present during this interview, alongside his biological mother. She does not live with the boy or the grandmother.
Asked why he dropped out of school, the well-spoken boy answered: “It's peer pressure.”
During the interview with the Dispatch the boy made claims of mistreatment.
The Dispatch visited the NU8 home and took pictures of a pitbull terrier named Clawie which was chained to a cage apparently adjacent to the one the boy had allegedly been confined in.
The boy’s mother, according to the grandmother, lives with a boyfriend in the neighbourhood. The older woman said her daughter has four children; none live with her.
Eastern Cape social development MEC Dr Phumza Dyantyi has applauded the Mdantsane community for their prompt response.
“Our department has since unleashed all its resources to ensure the child is placed in a hospitable environment – with good parenting,” said Dyantyi...

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