The family of four-year-old Milani Keke, who was mauled to death by two pit bulls in Gugulethu at the weekend, said they were struggling to come to terms with their loss.
Milani was attacked by the dogs when he tried to retrieve a ball while playing rugby with friends at home on Sunday.
The animals are currently in the care of the SPCA as investigations continue.
Speaking to the Cape Times on Monday, his traumatized mother, Nothemba Keke, said she was inside her home when the incident happened.
“I was here at home when I heard the screams of my daughter crying ‘Mama come out, Milani is being attacked by dogs.’ I ran outside and one was attacking him from the back of his skull while the other barked and ran around him. I ran and tried to jump the fence to save him, but a neighbour grabbed me and pulled me back,” she said.
The mother of two said the family was in shock.
“I don’t like to talk about it. Even now I don’t feel like talking; we are distraught and we are still shocked.”
Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed they were investigating the attack.
“A death inquest case has been opened for investigation by Gugulethu police after a 4-year-old boy died at NY 50 after he was attacked by two dogs inside the yard while he was fetching a ball.
“The circumstances surrounding this incident are being investigated by the police, with no arrests so far.”
Ward councillor Sharon Manata said the community of Gugulethu was traumatised, and grieved with the family.
“Some people are very angry. You ask yourself, in these four-roomed houses that we have what makes a person have such vicious dogs?
“We don’t have big yards, this innocent child was just playing in the yard of his home and by mistake the ball fell in the next dooryard.
“This child was not even in the yard of these dogs, but they dragged him from the fence. We are crying with the family, crying with the mother who is traumatized by seeing her child being mauled by the dogs. Truly as a community we are shattered,” she said.
Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abrahams said the two dogs were brought to them by law enforcement following the incident. “They are now in our care. Law enforcement will investigate the matter and make the decision with regards to the future of the dogs,” she said.
Gugulethu Development Forum general secretary Vincent Domingo said this was a lesson to all dog owners.
“Equally to the government, our children should have recreational facilities where it is safe for them to play. Let us unite as a community and support the child’s family during this period. Our condolences to the family, may the child’s soul rest in peace,” Domingo said.
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