Tongaat Child Explains Heartbreaking Abuse and Neglect

A shocking case of child abuse and negligence of an 8-year-old child of Tongaat, north of Durban has sparked outrage on social media, while the child’s mother has been hospitalized after an attempt to commit suicide.

Preshani Govender of Tongaat took to the social media platform, Facebook on Wednesday evening revealing the horror that her little cousin faced since June 2020 until Monday, August 11. Speaking to Indian Spice, Govender explains that, she had taken the drastic step to publicise the child’s horrific experience as the alleged abuser has disappeared. Her other reason for naming the child was that there has been various social media posts defending the abuser and slamming the child for lying about the abuse.

My 8 year old cousin has been abused by his mother’s boyfriend, there has been posts circulating that the child is lying and the man is innocent

Preshani Govender, Facebook

According to Govender, with the parents separated, the child was taken by the mother to spend time with her during the month of June. However, one weekend eventually extended to 2 months where the alleged abuse played out continuously until Monday, August 11. It is understood the child was exposed to various types of torture ranging from strangulation, being whipped until he loses unconsciousness. The torture continued with the child being threatened with a gun and slammed into walls on a regular basis. The 8-year-old was also shown a hole dug in the backyard and was told it was designated for his body when his abuser plans to finish him off. On Monday, the child was starved for an entire day even after begging for food from his mother, who was instructed by her boyfriend to punish the child.

Taking matters into his own hands

Govender explains how her 8-year-old cousin ran off to avoid further abuse, she wrote, “Yesterday morning Keval ran away from his home and got help from 2 people he saw on the road..He then explained his story and asked for them to bring him to his dad’s house..they told keval they could take him to flambel primary..the child schools there and knew the area so he agreed they dropped him off there..the lady he travels to school with has seen him and asked him what happened ..keval then repeated his story and was taken to the police station while his father was contacted to meet him there ..Keval’s statement to the 2 strangers he met, to the lady he travels with, to the police, to the clinic & to the child welfare hasn’t changed even a tiny bit.”

Govender also added the child’s statement to her social media post saying, “When my mum used to go to work he would tie my hands and legs, shove a towel or tissue in my mouth and hit me, he hit me with a gun on my eye and held it on my head and said if I pull this trigger you’ll die..he then showed the child a hole behind the house saying that his gonna chop him with a bush knife and bury him there. He cut my ear with a scissor, he would throw me on the bed and choke me saying “die die die”..he would give me ice cold showers as punishment for telling my mum”

Get the latest news updates from Indian Spice

The child in his own words bravely shared his shocking tale of abuse with us and you can listen for yourself. The contents of this recording are not recommended for sensitive listeners, used with the express permission of the family.

Also listen on Spotify

A case has been opened with the Tongaat SAPS while the Child & Family Welfare Society are working with the family providing counselling while the police investigate.

ALSO READ: Former journalist Vanessa Govender, author of ‘Beaten but not Broken’ has finally revealed the name of her abuser, read more here

📣 Follow Indian Spice on TwitterInstagramFacebookTelegramTikTok and on YouTube, and stay updated with the latest South African Indian news and international Indian news.

The global lockdown has everyone’s mental health in a spin! Have you checked out our Mental Health resources by Indian Spice click here

The South African Depression And Anxiety Group (SADAG) is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group open 7 days a week from 8am – 8pm. If you are needing a referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist or support group call SADAG on 011 234 4837 or 0800 20 50 26 and speak to a trained counselor who can assist you further. Substance abuse hotline: 0800 12 13 14 is available 24hrs or alternatively email Zane on

If you need support or know someone who does, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist. India Helplines: Aasra: 022 2754 6669; Sneha India Foundation: +914424640050 and Sanjivini: 011-24311918

Stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority during the coronavirus crisis. 

Connect with the Coronavirus Whatsapp services below

  • Coronavirus India Whatsapp tap here
  • Coronavirus South Africa Whatsapp tap here
  • SA Hotline Number: 0800 029 999

For more related coronavirus (COVID-19) latest news and stories click here