THE provincial Department of Social Development is investigating allegations that a man poured boiling water on a 17-month-old child.
According to Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza, the child is fighting for her life at Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
Khoza said the child’s mother had an argument at the weekend with the child’s uncle, who allegedly retaliated by pouring boiling water over the little girl.
The MEC said: “It is alleged that the family tried to sweep the incident under the carpet. The child was scalded. A horrific picture is circulating on social media, depicting the toddler with third-degree burns.
“The person responsible for the incident must be arrested and prosecuted, including those who tried to cover up the matter,” said Khoza.
She said that the department had a constitutional obligation to ensure the protection of children’s rights.
“Abusing a child is a criminal offence. Therefore, we will be pursuing the option to open a criminal case against the perpetrator.
“Child abuse has no place in our families and society. We must join hands to end the horrendous incidents of abuse. These cruel acts against children should stop and that will happen only when communities stand up and ensure that those committing crimes against children are prosecuted and jailed.”
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said that the incident was not reported at the nearest police station, Wartburg SAPS, but that SAPS would contact the hospital for details.