South Africa

Mamelodi mother pleads for son to get psychiatric help

Mamelodi mother pleads for son to get psychiatric help
Pretoria - A mother is in desperate need of help to have her son admitted for psychiatric observation before the community attacks him for breaking into homes.

Anna Mahlaku, 57, said she was homeless because her mentally challenged son had ruined her shack.

The resident of Mamelodi Transit Camp informal settlement said she had been sleeping in and around public buildings and service stations because her ruined shack was filled with water. The mess was created by her son, aged 40.

Her son was once admitted to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital and then later taken to Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre after trying to set the place on fire.

“Today I struggle to get him admitted again because a certain doctor keeps saying my son is not mentally challenged. They say he just smokes weed, but I’m telling them this boy is not well.

“Neighbours are sick and tired of him and they are going to kill him if he is not admitted and treated because he is a threat now. He has broken into people’s shacks and stolen from them.

“I can’t even fix my home. I only work on Thursdays as a domestic worker. That’s all I do to make a little income but now I owe some of my neighbours money because my son ruined their belongings.

“The problem is that when I take him to hospital, they don’t refer him to Weskoppies. They say he is not mentally challenged, and when I try to explain that this man used to be treated they don’t want to listen. There is a difference between drugging someone to sleep all day and actually assessing him so they could be referred to an institution.

“They just drug and tie him up and then later release him and when he gets back home he ruins my shack. On December 20 the police helped me take him there after an advocate heard me cry on the community radio and wrote me a referral letter from the Mamelodi Magistrate’s Court.

“On December 23 I had to be escorted by security because he was fuming with anger. On December 31, they released him back into the community and he came to terrorise me.

“Right now my shack is soaked in water because he removed the poles inside and kicked it. He flipped the mattresses and threw in a lot of wood and rubbish. At one point he choked me so hard I had to hit him on the head with a stick because I was suffocating,” Mahlaku said.

Ward councillor Morwangwato Mantjane said he would visit the woman’s home to see the damage and push to get help for her shack to be repaired.

Weskoppies spokesperson Ronel Ludwick said: “We referred her to the police. He was admitted to Mamelodi East Hospital and was discharged. We advised the mother to open a case of vandalism about her shack.”

She said according to the Health Care Act, a person should first be referred for observations before they could be admitted to Weskoppies.

Pretoria News