Illustration depicting cutout printed letters arranged to form the word bail.

A 27-year-old mother has been arrested for child abuse and assault after she allegedly burned her children with an iron.

According to Randfontein SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Carmen Hendricks, police were called by a school teacher who laid a complaint about the alleged abuse.

TimesLive reported earlier that the mother had allegedly burned the children because she ate their KFC.

“We found that this was all because the children ate her KFC. She had looked for it and the kids said they ate it and she burnt them on the hands and thighs with the iron,” Hendricks told TimesLive.

They were informed that the children aged five and seven were badly burned and  police were asked to come to the school immediately. The children, who cannot be named to protect their identity, were allegedly burned by their mother during the school holidays and could not get help until they went back to school.

“The children were taken to the hospital to receive medical attention and were handed over to Randfontein Social Workers for their safety.  A docket of child abuse and assault was opened against the suspect and she was subsequently arrested,” Hendricks said.

The accused has been granted bail of R1000 and will appear again in court on 30 April 2019.

Randfontein Station Commander Brig, Mashole Jacob Manamela commented on the case and said he wants to send a strong message to the public.

“Children may feel trapped by the power the abusers have over them. That is why it is important to be able to recognize the signs of child abuse and to report it”, he said.

According to research on the long-term effects of abuse on children, psychological consequences can range from chronic low self-esteem to severe dissociative states.

Some consequences can also range from attentional problems and learning disorders to severe organic brain syndromes. Abused children can also have a hard time making friends or become extraordinarily violent. This can lead to victims not only becoming a danger to themselves but to society as well.