Probe into claims girl raped in class
Johannesburg - Gauteng's education department is to investigate claims that a 7-year-old girl was gang-raped in a classroom by fellow pupils.
Spokesperson Charles Phahlane said on Thursday the department had decided to act after a newspaper report on the incident at a school in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.
He said it was unclear how it came to be that the girl was left alone with the four boys, aged 7 and 8. They allegedly cornered her in a classroom, undressed her and assaulted her.
"Where were the other learners and where was the teacher? All we have is the information from the child," Phahlane said.
Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed that police were investigating the rape, which happened on Friday.
The Sowetan reported on Thursday that a police social crime officer was called to the school in August.
The principal had wanted police to speak to the parents of boys who had been accused of improper behaviour.
Phahlane said the department had sent social workers to see the girl and her family.
It would investigate whether the school followed education department procedures in dealing with the matter.
He said social workers would also be sent to the boys who were said to have been involved.