UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

BOY LOCKED IN FRIDGE FOR BISCUIT THEFT

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY MALIZOLE DIKO
UDM NATIONAL SECRETARY

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is very concerned about reports of a seventeen-year-old North West boy, who had been assaulted and locked into a refrigerator allegedly by a shopkeeper and security guard who accused him of stealing a packet of biscuits from a shop.

This smacks of the same kind of disrespect for human life and -rights, when some time ago, in one instance a Mpumalanga farmer painted a trespasser silver and in another where three PEP stores employees painted a girl for stealing R2.99 worth of panties.

The UDM does not condone any form of unlawful activity, but condemns the alleged treatment of the boy in terms of human rights violation. This boy is under eighteen and still a child in terms of the South African Constitution and the treatment suffered by him infringes on his non-derogable right to be protected from maltreatment and abuse.

What makes this act even more horrific is that it could have resulted in this boy's death. To prove this possibility, the body of a missing six-year-old girl was found in an old disused fridge at Schoongelegen farm in Winburg, Free State. It was believed that the child locked herself inside the fridge.

The UDM condemns any form of vigilantism or South African citizens taking the law into his or her own hands. As can be seen from the above examples, such action just leads to more injury and heartache and legal action. This can also contribute to racial polarisation within our country.

The UDM calls on the Oukasie, North West, community to remain calm and to assist the Police in their fight against crime and to refrain from taking the law into their hands. The UDM calls on the South African Police Services to quickly apprehend the fled suspect so that the matter might be handled within the ambit of the South African justice system.

Enquiries:
Mr Malizole Diko
UDM National Secretary
083-759-6637

Pretoria
17 October 2001