South Africa

'He urinated blood, could not sit': Grieving NW mom narrates how son, 9, died

'He urinated blood, could not sit': Grieving NW mom narrates how son, 9, died

KOSTER - "I am deeply hurt by how my son died. I was not expecting it," an emotional Daisy Mafora said on Monday recalling the death of her nine-year-old son.

The mother of two described how her son Odirile Mafora, a Grade 5 learner at Kgalagatsane Primary School in Reagile, Koster in the North West died.

"He urinated blood, he could not sit, he could not eat,  he was paralysed -- his hands and legs were not moving," she said with tears in her eyes.

She said Odirile arrived home sad from school on Friday, May 10, and during the night he vomited and on Saturday morning his right leg was not functioning.

"He complained that he was having cramps, by Monday he had lost the use of his legs and arms. I took him to the hospital where he was admitted."

She said before Odirile went to the hospital, he informed her that a 17-year-old boy who is in Grade 7 at the school hit him with an open hand on his head before he pushed him down the stairs. They teenager followed him as he rolled and trampled on him.

He died in hospital on May 16, three days shy from his tenth birthday. His funeral would be held in Koster on Saturday. 

The cause of his death was not yet known as the postmortem results were not immediately available. The family expected to know the cause of death on Tuesday.

"All he wanted was a cake on his birthday. He always told me how he wants to spend his birthday," she said.

She described her son as a hyperactive child who dreamed of being a policeman.

Odirile's grandmother Morwadi Phekola said she suspected Odirile's attacker threatened to beat him up should he speak about what happened to him.

"A child will not keep quiet while he is in pain. I suspect he was told not to say a word," said Phekola.

According to the family when the incident occurred the teachers were in a meeting, one of Odirile's friends went to report the incident but a teacher stopped him back saying there was a meeting in progress.

The teenager allegedly attacked Odirile on an allegation that he insulted him.

North West police spokesman Captain Sam Tselanyane said police were investigating a case of murder.

"According to information available at this stage, the 17-year-old attacked a group of learners on the stairs at the school. While the other learners managed to run away, the [nine-year-old] was caught, beaten and pushed downstairs. The perpetrator then allegedly followed and further assaulted the victim,"  said Captain Sam Tselanyane.

"The police were informed in the evening on Thursday, 16 May 2019 that the victim had passed on at the hospital.  As a result, the suspect was arrested for alleged murder.  He was released to his parent(s) for preliminary enquiry and assessment by social workers in terms of the Child Justice Act, 2008 [Act No. 75 of 2008]."

He said the teenager was expected to appear in the Koster Magistrate's Court facing a charge of murder.