Mixed luck for couple accused Of Cruelty

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JWANENG- Khumo Ungwang breathed a sigh of relief when magistrate Basetsana Keakantse discharged and acquitted him of cruelty and degrading treatment on his minor son.

However as for his wife, Pelonomi Ungwang the state proved beyond reasonable doubt she cruelly assaulted her stepson as she claimed the child practised witchcraft.

The court heard that on March 18, 2013 the couple who are in custody of the child, caused multiple injuries to the said child thereby subjecting him to cruelty and human degrading. The court also recordsed that a medical doctor, Indiya Umaga testified that she observed bruises over the body, open sores in the buttocks which can have resulted from a stick or belt beatings.A guidance and counselling teacher at Jwana Primary School said the child was admitted in mid-2012 and she observed that the child was perpetually looking dirty and lonely and not mingling with others. She approached his class teacher who called the stepmother to school. The guidance and counselling teacher said the stepmother  revealed that she flogged the boy  as he is a nuisance and that he practises witchcraft. The teacher further testified that the stepmother told them that the boy walks around the house at night and she was fed up.According to the teacher, matters came to a head on March 19, 2013 when the child arrived late for the 3pm study with swollen hands. The boy told the teachers that  his stepmother had ordered her to put all her hands on the table and beat him with a moretlwa stick. The teacher also observed other injuries, scars on the back, buttocks and thighs as well as tear stains on his face.

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