Local news

Wentworth foster mom comes under fire over child abuse allegations

Esmeen Usher who is a member of the Rapid Response Team, formed in the south Durban area to combat gender-based violence, allegedly handed herself in at Brighton Beach police station on March 29, after police contacted her for questioning regarding burns on the hands of two of the children in her foster care.

THE work of well-known community worker, Esmeen Usher, who has been at the forefront of various community initiatives in the Wentworth area, has come under scrutiny by residents who were shocked at allegations of child abuse which surfaced against her.

Usher, who is a member of the newly-formed Rapid Response Team, formed in the south Durban area to combat gender-based violence, allegedly handed herself in at Brighton Beach police station on March 29, after police contacted her for questioning regarding burns on the hands of two of the children in her foster care.

According to the Rapid Response Team’s chairperson, Gerald Augustine, Usher appeared in the Durban Regional Court on March 31, where she was granted bail of R1 000.

Usher was accused of burning the hands of a nine-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, who she had been fostering for over a year. The incident was brought to the attention of social workers and police after the children had trouble writing at school, due to the burns.

ALSO READ: Response team addresses GBV in Wentworth

Augustine said that the Rapid Response Team was aware of the seriousness of the allegations and will issue a thorough statement to media after they hold a meeting with Usher, to discuss the merits of the case.

Ward councillor, Aubrey Snyman, said he was sad to hear about the situation Usher has found herself in.

“I hope this matter can be resolved in an amicable manner as Usher has been very instrumental in the upliftment of our community. She was hands-on and on the ground during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the looting and flooding,” added Snyman.

ALSO READ: South Durban residents join march against GBV

Community leader in the Merewent area, Tracey Williams, said the allegations against Usher need to be dealt with according to the seriousness of the offence.

“Yes, we acknowledge the good that community workers do, but wrong is wrong. Children need to be loved and taught, not tortured and abused. The justice system must not fail the children as this will be a bad example to others.

“There are hundreds of children who suffer at the hands of their caregivers and we must heed the call for justice for all children. Chastisement and abuse can be clearly distinguished and each should be treated as such,” added Williams.

For more Southlands Sun news, follow us on Facebook or Twitter. You can also follow us on Instagram.

 

Related Articles

 
Back to top button