Report On Conditions At Children's Home Reads Like Horror
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 24, 2006
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA--It reads like a Halloween horror story.
But the report written by a health department investigator that looked into conditions at the Golden Girls Disabled Children's Home is not a work of fiction.
According to several news sources, the report is the beginning of an investigation into the deaths of eight children with physical and mental disabilities in the last 10 years at the facility, which houses 50 children between the ages of 5 and 19.
In one case, a four-year-old girl died after rats had eaten her face. In another, the body of a nine-year-old girl showed strangulation marks. Rats had also eaten at her face, but apparently after she died, leading doctors to determine that her body had not been discovered for some time.
The report also cited unhealthy conditions at the facility, such as children's diapers not being changed regularly, while staff members reportedly slept on the job. Investigators also accuse the director of using government funds to improve her own home at the expense of the children's welfare.
The director has denied the allegations.
A judge has closed the facility, and ordered the children moved to a local hospital while the investigation continues.
"Court closes 'home of horror'" (Die Burger via News24)
"Disabled children 'suffer in house of horror'" (Pretoria News via Independent Online)