Parents and the authorities have reacted with shock after CCTV footage, reportedly taken at a Randfontein creche, showed staff allegedly beating and threatening children in their care.
On Thursday, Gauteng Social Development MEC Thuliswa Khawe said she was angered when reports of alleged abuse at Myne Maatjies, an early childhood development centre, emerged.
Khawe added she had looked at a social media post in which a teacher appeared to be beating children with a broom.
She said she was shocked by the prevalence of these types of crimes being committed against children in the province.
“Let me state this categorically, we condemn such cruelty against children. This is saddening because it cannot be justified.”
Three staff members, who were arrested on assault charges, were expected to appear in the Randfontein Magistrate’s Court on Friday, according to Netwerk24.
Parents had earlier in the day gone to the police station to open a case after seeing videos of children allegedly being hit, chased and jostled, it reported.
“Let me add my voice to that of law enforcement and call upon anyone who may have any information about this incident to come forward. We cannot condone such actions,” said Khawe.
She added she would visit the children and deploy a team of social workers to the affected families to assess if there was any support or needs that the government could assist with.
The centre’s owner said she had not heard of any alleged abuse until the videos emerged, adding she would take further steps, including dismissals, the Randfontein Herald reported.
Parents told the newspaper they were removing their children from the centre.
On social media, people were outraged by what they saw.
“I am sitting here in tears. This is my biggest fear for my own kids or even someone else’s,” said one woman.
Another said: “Goeie genade!! Maak die plek toe!! [Goodness gracious, close the place down].”