TEAM TO INVESTIGATE CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATION AT KZN HOME

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The newly appointed KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Mbali Shinga, has ordered a full investigation into the allegations of child abuse at the Aryan Benevolent Home Child and Youth Care Centre in Chatsworth, Durban.

Shinga visited the centre on Tuesday, following recent allegations of child abuse at the home.

According to the provincial department, reports suggest that workers at the facility have ignored children’s rights, with instances of children being assaulted with wet towels and belts.

Shinga said it was disappointing that management at the institution could not pick up any signs of the abuse.

“I believe that one person should have picked this up before it reached this stage because it has been happening for a long time.”

The centre’s General Manager, Ray Naguran, confirmed the abuse allegation and that 48 children had been abused.

The MEC has announced the formation of a dedicated team of investigators to thoroughly examine the grave concerns.

“The investigative team will work diligently to uncover the truth, provide support to any affected children, and ensure that appropriate actions are taken against any perpetrators.”

Shinga added that the team will also wait for the other 21 children residing at the home, who are currently away for the holidays to come back so that they can also hear their side of the story on the allegations.

The team which will be led by the department’s Head of Department has been given three weeks to complete its investigation and compile a report for her to review.

“The department remains steadfast in its mission to protect the most vulnerable members of society and uphold the highest standards of care within our child welfare institutions. The safety and well-being of our children are paramount, [and] any instances of child abuse will be met with swift and decisive action,” said Shinga.

Naguran said four child caregivers have since been dismissed. – SAnews.gov.za

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