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Thread: African family lives alone for 20 yrs, degenerates to animals

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    Post African family lives alone for 20 yrs, degenerates to animals

    Family lives alone for 20 yrs
    Tom de Wet

    17/02/2004 22:39 - (SA)

    http://www.news24.com/News24/South_A...485204,00.html


    This corrugated-iron shack on an isolated cattle post has been home for the past 20 years to a family who has had no other human contact. (Tom de Wet, Volksblad)

    Theunissen - Cut off from the rest of the world, with only veld and animals for company, a husband and wife and their four children have spent the past 20 years all alone on a remote Free State farm.

    The four children - aged 26, 22, 18 and 14 - have never had contact with the outside world and their behaviour is so animalistic they can't even communicate in an understandable language. One of them walks on all fours, almost like a monkey.

    An assortment of healthcare experts have been ordered by the Free State department of health to assess the woman and her children, who are now in the care of the state.

    The team has also been ordered to make suggestions about the family's future.

    If people came to the farm, the children took to the hills and returned only once the visitors had left.

    None of them can speak a recognisable language

    One of the boys walks on all fours just like a monkey and neither the mother nor her children are able to speak a recognisable language.

    They communicate with each other and with the father in sign language and noises.

    Home is a corrugated-iron shack, but the oldest son has never slept indoors with the others. He has always slept in the open.

    Home to the mother and her children for now is Bongani Hospital in Welkom and, according to Ouma Tsopo, the Free State's MEC for health, a decision on the family's future will be made once they have been assessed by the team of doctors.

    She said the move had been extremely traumatic for the children, but that everything would be done to reunite them as a family.

    Tsietsie Mapisa, chairperson of the community policing forum in Theunissen, heard about the family and sought help for them. He said the forum was looking for a home for them.

    He feels, however, that the family needs to remain in Oranje Hospital in Bloemfontein for a few months to learn social skills. He said if this was not done they would run away.

    Mapisa said a district health nurse first heard about the family. He went to investigate and called in the welfare department and the police.

    Bathed and given clothes

    He said authorities had had to wait until dark and the children were in the shack before they could move the family. They gave the children bread and chips to calm them down.

    They were taken to Theunissen where they were bathed and given clothes.

    Sello Majola, the children's father, is the only person who had contact with the outside world. He is also the only one who can speak a language.

    He said his children were not born this way, but became so because they did not "follow the same religious path as the Majola tribe".


    Father: I failed my children
    18/02/2004 11:26 - (SA)

    Theunissen - A Free State family who have been living in isolation for twenty years, were born "normal" says the father, Sello Majola.

    The man's family was discovered at a remote cattle post on a farm where they have been living without contact with the outside world for two decades. The mother and four children cannot talk any normal language, but grunt or use sign language. One of the children also walks on all fours.

    Majola said his children's condition was the result of his failure to slaughter a sheep at the birth of each one of them "to welcome them into the family".

    He said his children were normal until the age of ten. They then suddenly changed and became unable to walk or talk properly anymore.

    Lack of a sacred snake

    His family's condition might also be contributed to their lack of a sacred snake. This snake, which one was not allowed to kill, came to visit families to check if they are okay, he said. But he didn't know whether his family had such a snake.

    He was unaware of rumours in the Theunissen area that his family was bewitched, and that they were "different" for that reason.

    Majola said his family has learnt to communicate with each other by means of sign language.

    They went to live on the farm 20 years ago when his oldest son was five years old.

    When the owner of the farm, Fred Wille, died, a black man from Welkom bought the farm, Majola said.

    Wille's widow, Lets, on Tuesday told Volksblad that the children were mentally disabled from birth.

    More stimulation from the animals

    She said she never saw them when she and her husband visited them to take the man food and his salary. They always ran away or would go and sit on the wall of the animal pen. She said the mother was also "retarded".

    She said her husband helped register the oldest child for a state grant on the grounds of his mental condition.

    The three sons are 26, 22 and 18 years old while the daughter is 14.

    Welkom psychologist Henriette Oberholzer said the children could appear "retarded", but according to information at hand, their development might simply have been hampered by their lack of contact with other humans.

    She said the children adopted the wrong social behaviour because they received more stimulation from the animals on the farm than from other people.

    Edited by Tisha Steyn

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    Majola said his children's condition was the result of his failure to slaughter a sheep at the birth of each one of them "to welcome them into the family".
    And it is these people we welcome on to our shores everyday!


    His family's condition might also be contributed to their lack of a sacred snake. This snake, which one was not allowed to kill, came to visit families to check if they are okay, he said. But he didn't know whether his family had such a snake.
    ?

    It is interesting to note that snake worship is still remembered in Africa.
    I don't have the link to hand, but it detailed a discovery of a 100'000 year old snake cult from Africa.

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