School knew of rape

Barbara Creecy, in charge of Gauteng schools

Eleven-year-old Sam (not his real name) went to school on Wednesday, as on any other day. But he returned home scarred for life.

The Grade 6 pupil at Refilwe Primary School, in Winterveldt, north of Pretoria, was allegedly raped by a Grade 7 pupil.

The school allegedly tried to cover up the assault.

According to the school governing body, 12 complaints, including the groping of female pupils, have been made against the teenager who allegedly assaulted Sam – but the governing body learned of this only on Wednesday.

Sam’s mother said her son was traumatised. “He screams at night and does not want to be touched. Now he sleeps in my bed and he jumps every time I try to cuddle him.”

The mother of three is furious that the principal wanted the matter to be settled internally, saying she would not have known about the incident if a concerned teacher had not alerted her. She had arrived at the school to find police officers talking to the principal and the father of the alleged assailant.

“My son has been violated and when I demanded answers the principal just grinned and walked away,” she said.

The woman said she had had to walk, with her 11-year-old son strapped to her back, to the local clinic 10km away, only to be referred to another clinic.

“At Block BB clinic I was told to open a case first before he could be examined but it was already late and I went home.”

School governing body deputy chairman Ace Choko said four boys aged between 15 and 17 had been suspended pending disciplinary proceedings.

“We are shocked by the incident but we are more concerned with the fact that one of the boys had a string of complaints against him but we were not told. He should not be at the school,” he said.

Gauteng education department spokesman Charles Phahlane said the police had visited the school but Loate police spokesman Captain Llifi Ramatlo said the police could not investigate because a case had not been opened.

Earlier charges against two boys who allegedly drugged and raped a Johannesburg schoolgirl have been dropped due to a lack of evidence, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Tuesday.

“As much as we appreciate the sensitivity of the matter there is just not enough evidence hence the decision not to proceed with the matter at this stage,” spokesperson Mthunzi
Mhaga told Sapa.

“Due to the sensitivity and age of the complainant we cannot discuss the details in respect of the nature of evidence which is in police possession.”

Three boys allegedly gave “date rape” drugs to two girls on Thursday and then gang-raped one of them, aged 15, while filming it on their cell phones.

The alleged attack occurred on the premises of Jules High School in Jeppestown, during school hours. The girl only identified two of the boys and they were arrested on Monday.

Both boys are grade nine pupils. One of them is a pupil at the school where the alleged attack occurred and the other is a pupil at New Nation School near Auckland Park.

The NPA has requested that the police continue to conduct a thorough investigation and obtain more statements.

Once the investigation had been completed the NPA would decide whether to reconsider its decision or not, Mhaga said. – M&G/