News24

Officials probing rugby player's 'rape'

2012-05-11 10:05

Cape Town - Western Cape education department officials are investigating a claim by a 16-year-old boy that he was sexually assaulted in an initiation ceremony while on a school rugby tour, it was reported on Friday.

The Cape Times quoted spokesperson Paddy Atwell as saying they viewed the complaint in a very serious light.

"Initiation is illegal. We understand that the school has taken action, but we have sent district officials to investigate. The department will decide on what action to take based on the recommendations by the officials."

The attack, which took place on March 17 between pupils of a high school in the city, was filmed on cellphones and circulated.

The boy was allegedly raped with a broom handle and a banana after playing a rugby match against a local school, while camping at Velddrif on the West Coast.

He had sent his mom a 'please call me' from his cellphone after the older boys apparently wanted to shave his head.

The next night, after the victim had gone to sleep, he was allegedly attacked in his bed and sexually assaulted. The attackers also shaved his eyebrows, squirted toothpaste up his nose and drew a phallic object on his forehead.

The victim's parents removed their son from the school and laid a charge at the Bothasig police station on March 20.

Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut told Sapa the case was investigated by the Vredenburg police.

"The completed case docket was presented to the senior state prosecutor, who declined to prosecute in the matter. The case was subsequently withdrawn."

Drank alcohol


Meanwhile, the boy's father says he is determined to get justice for his son.

The man, who was not named to protect the identity of his son, spoke to the Cape Argus and Cape Talk radio station and said he wanted to make sure something like this never happened again.

The father said the boys had been drinking alcohol after the match and when his son passed out, the other boys had sexually assaulted him.

He said his son had been extremely upset the following morning and had called them in tears.

“He was crying - very, very upset.”

The father reported the matter to the school authorities and police officials visited the family at home, but said there had been no feedback from the school or the education department.  

Cape Argus reporters were informed that the case had been withdrawn by the National Prosecuting authority but it no explanation was given.

An education department spokesperson said the school had suspended some pupils and that the matter was being investigated by the department.

Comments
  • michael.a.devilliers - 2012-05-11 10:16

    'Rape'? No, per letter of the law this is RAPE. Suspensions and expulsions aren't going to cut it - the perpetrators and those who turned a blind eye MUST be punished. Shows the incompetence of the education system, the school, school officials, the police services and prosecuting authority. No wonder criminals think they can get away with crime.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-11 10:19

      All initiation should be punished by expulsion. Teachers that allow it should be fired. I attended one of the oldest and most traditional Boy's Schools in the country. We did not need initiation to build spirit. Merit is what counts.

      Marion - 2012-05-11 10:35

      I cannot believe they are still putting rape in inverted commas. And just because he wasn't taken to a district surgeon immediately (as per an earlier report) doesn't make it a case that cannot be prosecuted. A video of it has gone viral for heavens sake! I hope that this kid manages to work through this with the help of an excellent psychologist because if not I hate to think what could happen.

      Marion - 2012-05-11 11:45

      @Alicia, that is exactly what my concern is. Thank you for the information about the effects of bullying. In this instance, with the forced anal penetration, I was reminded of a young guy who was arrested for drunk driving. His father was so angry with him that he said the guy should spend the night in jail. In desperation he phone his uncle to bail him out. The uncle said he couldn't go against the father's wishes. During that one night in jail with other offenders the youngster was brutally raped. Two weeks later he committed suicide. Not everyone is strong enough to survive the horrors that others perpetrate against them, particularly youngsters.

      Marion - 2012-05-11 12:00

      @Alicia - perhaps an Avaaz petition could be of assistance in getting enough support to have initiation banned? They seem to be quite effective in getting results.

      Marion - 2012-05-11 13:33

      @Alicia, I don't know how it works either even though I am a member, but found this on Wikipedia (not best source) "... Suggestions for campaigns come from members, supplemented by guidance from teams of specialists. Once a suggestion has been taken up as having potential, tester emails are sent to 10,000 Avaaz members; if the emails receive a sufficient response, the campaign is opened up to all Avaaz members.[9] Director Ricken Patel said in 2011 "We have no ideology per se. Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Idealists of the world unite!"[10] Avaaz has indeed united practical idealists from around the world.[6] In 2010 The Economist suggested that "the way Avaaz bunches unlikely causes together may be an asset in a world where campaigns, like race and class, can still segregate people, not reconcile them."[11]" Seems like it is all done online. Hope this info helps.

  • Darren - 2012-05-11 10:21

    Where are the adults and teachers that were supposed to be supervising? Disgusting. And this isn't the first case of bullying to be in the news from this school.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-11 11:36

      The coach does not qualify as an 'adult' or a 'teacher' as far as I'm concerned. He is one of the bullies. Fire him.

  • Benita - 2012-05-11 10:37

    I wonder what the parents of the boys who did the bullying is saying of this? Why are they so quiet? Why don't they stand up for what is right? How would they have reacted if it was their child? If they don't react and punish these bullies appropriately, they are at fault too, and are failing their own children.

  • Nigel - 2012-05-11 10:39

    A rather unfortunate choice of words for a Head-liner. Anyway, I hope they convict those bastards and the spineless Teacher/Coach.

  • Michelle - 2012-05-11 11:02

    This is not initiation. It is rape. Treat it as such.

  • E=MC2 - 2012-05-11 11:09

    Did the headline really have to use the word "Probing"?

      Sematla - 2012-05-11 11:26

      Yes it should, if they were probed , they were probed period.Why try to be philosophical about evil acts? iron-stone

      Bonkers - 2012-05-11 11:34

      The writer needs to face-palm.

  • Sematla - 2012-05-11 11:24

    S-A-V-A-G-E-S

  • carpejugulim - 2012-05-11 11:38

    He is 16 and on a school rugby tour and passes out after consuming liquor "The father said the boys had been drinking alcohol after the match and when his son passed out, the other boys had sexually assaulted him." While I cannot condone any form of sexual assault on any person where is the responsibility and accountability? What on earth is he doing, at the age of 16, drinking to a stage of passing out on a school rugby tour???

      Marion - 2012-05-11 11:50

      @carpejugulim - as far as the drinking goes, I reckon most youngsters - particularly males - 'experiment' with alcohol. The parents were not there but the coaches and, presumably, other 'responsible' adults were. It was up to them to see that the boys behaved in an acceptable manner and they obviously didn't do their jobs very well.

      carpejugulim - 2012-05-11 12:30

      Marion I am fully aware of what youngsters of both sexes get up to and experiment with. I sincerely doubt that he had liquor poured down his throat to the point of inebriation in front of the coaches and presumably other responsible adults. 16 is below the legal age limit for purchasing liquor so where did he get if from? At the age of 16 one is expected to behave in an acceptable manner with occasional guidance from an adult, not have to have one's every move policed because one misbehaves. Surprisingly enough one can actually say: "thanks but no thanks, I'd rather not have a drink thank you" and still be seen as cool.

  • Kathie - 2012-05-11 11:41

    Suspend the principal for putting the school above the child. Ban players and coach from sport and suspend the first team from playing this season.

  • Hallo - 2012-05-11 11:44

    Boneheads..

  • Adil Smit - 2012-05-11 11:47

    Hopefully SARU won't allow them to continue playing rugby either.

  • Eben - 2012-05-11 11:55

    Truly a sick story, and those boys should be paid back in full... But Initiation shouldn't be banned and all that its part of growing up, deal with it.. sure there are limits but banned is over the top, I was a fat little 13 year old when I went to high school, got all the nicknames as well, still handled my initiation like a man and didn't suck up, Finished school with load of friends and no worries of bullies or name calling, parents should raise their kids to be tough and to face their challenges.. period.

      Rudi - 2012-05-11 12:53

      I am in favour of initiation. Provided that it gets done in a proper manner, it can have VERY effective results in team-work, like rugby. However, because initiation is now tabboo, the teachers are no longer around to supervise and lead the initiation process. Hence, the bullies now have a free-for-all, which shouldn't be meant that way. What happened here, is not initiation : it is RAPE / SODOMY. It should be treated as such. The father of the child should not leave it there. The culprits should be made known and expelled from ALL rugby - for at least ten years.

      Klippies - 2012-05-11 13:31

      Eben, I agree and disagree. Initiation as we knew it was acceptable but even then abused by some. If it benefits 99.9% of kids and 0.1% have to go through this trauma, do you think it's still worth it? I don't. Kids these days have no boundaries. At school I was bliksem'd when I didn't do my homework, or when I was naughty. Nowadays they get away with everything and there are no repercussions. The less repercussions, the more they will push the boundaries. Same reason we've got a problem with crime in general.

  • donovan.botha - 2012-05-11 12:06

    ALCOHOL/RAPE/INDECENT ASSULT these are 16 year olds no wonder our youth are so messed up my god what is hapening to our schools and the education department/police etc

  • Rodney - 2012-05-11 12:23

    What happened is very sick and sad but all initiations are not wrong Surely some of the blame must be put at the schhool and the education department for the complete lack of discipline at our schools . This has got to be one of the reasons that these boys crossed the line ! Bring back corporal punishment , give discipline back to the educators !

      gemmaleigh.evans.3 - 2012-05-11 13:53

      Whilst I agree that not all initiations are wrong, it cannot be denied that initiations which once used to build character and a sense of commaderie has developed into a ritual that instils fear and seeks to humiliate its' victims. Even when it doesn't go as far as this particular incident, school children are taking it to the extremes and what's more, they find it incredibly entertaining. It has to be understood, that teenagers of today do not have the Emotional IQ or life experience to fully comprehend the lasting effects of their actions and as a result they are left guilty for upsetting (if not ruining) the lives of many helpless victims.

  • Schmee - 2012-05-11 12:58

    The headline is as sick as the incident. And what's with the word rape in inverted commas? The journalist should read the sexual offenses act and get it right. I hope that justice prevails and that all bullying stops. Make an example of these kids and publish it widely so that others learn that it won't be tolerated.

  • gemmaleigh.evans.3 - 2012-05-11 13:44

    This is unfortunately the reality of this country. When you're the victim of violence or sexual assault and you go to the police...the very people who swore to protect you, take about as much care and interest in your case as they do in choosing what underwear to wear. From my own personal experiences I can safely say I feel it is officially a waste of time going to the authorities in the hope that someone will care enough about your suffering to help. This is why communities are taking action into their own hands and killing the suspected perpetrators of various crimes, because if they don't do something...who will?! And whilst I don't agree with any matter being dealt with in that manner...with the law no longer on our side...what other options do we citizens have? My heart goes out to this boy...and to the mother of one of the perpetrators who feels everyone is making a big deal out of this - if it were your son who fell victim...you'd be screaming for blood and that's exactly what I hope the victims parents get!

  • jerome.burt - 2012-05-11 15:55

    There is a huge problem with the law in RSA. Kids who rape a defenseless girl are not even charged with rape and get R500 bail. Boy gets raped by schoolmates and file is closed. In USA these criminals would get 50+ years. I certainly hope that justice prevails. If I had a child at Edgemead High I would take him/her out of the school because they obviously have no respect fot their pupils!

  • Sobholenyoni - 2012-05-11 16:22

    Advanced Biology Practical gone wrong! On a serious note these little Mafia who were involved should be sent to China. Give them 100kg of cocaine,buy 1 one way ticket to China and justice shall be served.

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