KwaZulu-Natal police said have said claims on social media about officers helping a boy who had been caught stealing was not quite true.

KZN police spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker said that the child is a girl, not a boy, and she wasn't accused of theft — instead, she approached police for help after a fight with her mom.

 “On October 23 this year, a 13-year-old girl arrived at the Durban railway station and requested assistance from police officers. She informed police officers that she was chased away from home by her mother after an altercation in regard to clothes that she wanted.

“Police then took the child to her mother in Dassenhoek. When they interviewed the mother, the mother confirmed the story. The police then took the child to a granny in Umbumbulu,” said Naicker.

What officers found there was heartbreaking, and spurred them to take action. “When they arrived in Umbumbulu they found that the granny was living in extreme poverty and the house was not in a very good condition. First they arranged for clothing for the child, as she did not have clothes. They then arranged for groceries for the child and grandmother.

“They also contacted the local councillor, who promised them they would build a new house for the grandmother. They also arranged with the municipality for electricity for the grandmother's house,” said Naicker.