A 17-month-old KwaZulu-Natal child has been left with third-degree burns after boiling water was poured on to her during an apparent family dispute.
In a statement on Sunday, the provincial social development department said social workers were at the Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, where the child is being treated.
It is alleged that a relative poured boiling water on to the child after fighting with the child’s mother. The girl suffered burns to her face.
Social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said in addition to the alleged child abuse, the department was investigating allegations that family members tried to cover up the matter.
“The incident of aggravated child abuse is very disturbing and has caused bodily harm to a child. Those responsible must be arrested and prosecuted, including those who tried to cover up the matter,” said Khoza.
The department is helping the mother register a case with the police which hasn’t yet been opened because of domestic issues.
Khoza warned families against covering up child abuse.
“Child abuse has no place in our families and society. We must join hands to end the horrendous incidents of child abuse. These cruel and barbaric 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,” she said.