Alice boy, 7, mauled to death by pitbull

Zibele Liyakhanya Mthi (7) was mauled by a pitbull in Dyamala, Alice and died. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Pitbulls are clearly not yet outlawed, since proposals for their prohibition as domestic pets have been made in South Africa. This follows the death of a seven-year-old boy from Dyamala, Alice on Easter Sunday.

Zibele Liyakhanya Mthi, the child, was killed after being mauled by a pitbull when he went to meet his mother when she got home from work in the morning. As a security guard for the University of Fort Hare’s Alice campus, the mother worked the night shift and did not sleep at home.

Liyakhanya attended St. Paul’s Christian Academy in Alice and was in Grade 1.

The critically injured child passed away at the Frere Hospital in East London after being sent there by the Victoria Hospital in Alice. He passed away on Sunday while his 35-year-old mother was there in the hospital. She said that when the doctor informed her that one of the child’s kidneys was damaged by deep wounds, she lost hope.

Petros Majola of Khula Community Development, an NGO that advocates for the rights of women and children, said he is aware that people who own this kind of dog frequently claim to like them.

“I believe that when owners or breeders want to own this breed, they should think first. We should have known what these dogs are capable of because many children have been killed by this breed,” Majola added.

The Sizwe Kupelo Foundation petitioned the government in December 2022 to outlaw keeping this breed as a domestic pet in order to keep them away from people. The rise in the number of children who passed away from dog attacks last year spurred the Sizwe Kupelo Foundation.