The case against three New Hanover nuns accused of child abuse has suffered yet another delay, this time due to the affected children.
Yesterday, the state and social workers spent half the day interviewing the five children to try and “figure out the amount of damage caused by the beatings”.
State prosecutor JK Maphumulo said: “Due to time constraints, we are going to have to adjourn the case.”
Sisters Thokozile Zondo, 38, Thelma Ngobese, 50 and Dumazile Manqele, 64, appeared for the third time at the New Hanover Magistrate’s Court, but they have still not pleaded.
The three are charged with five counts of assault each. The abuse – where the children were allegedly beaten up – happened for many years.
Of the 27 needy and orphaned children who were in the care of the nuns at the Community of Jesus Compassion child care centre, only five have opened cases of assault against them.
When the news of the alleged abuse surfaced, former KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Meshack Radebe closed the centre down.
The alleged abuse was reported to the police by the principal of the school that the children attended, after he noticed bruises on their bodies.
One of the children’s parents told The New Age that her nine-year-old granddaughter had often complained about being beaten with a hosepipe. Fikile Ngubane said she did not take the child out of the centre as she could not afford to take care of her.
The case continues today.