NPA acts on school sex

2010-11-18 00:00

A TEENAGE girl who alleged that two teenage boys doped and raped her at school will now be prosecuted along with the two boys.

The 15-year-old girl and the two boys, aged 14 and 16, appeared briefly in camera in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges under the Sexual Offences Act.

The boys were originally accused of raping the 15-year-old girl on the sportsfield of Jules High School in Johannesburg after allegedly doping her. Other children apparently stood and watched and took photos and videos with their cellphones.

The state withdrew charges against the boys last week because of insufficient evidence that rape took place.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson advocate Mthunzi Mhaga said that following a preliminary investigation, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Menzi Simelane, decided to charge all three teenagers in terms of section 15 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, No. 32 of 2007.

Under the old act it would have been a charge of statutory rape, but under the new act the teenagers will be prosecuted for presumably consenting to sex while being under the age of 17, Mhaga said outside the court.

A preliminary investigation was held in court yesterday in terms of the Child Justice Act. Because the girl’s social worker’s report was not yet available, regional magistrate Simon Radasi postponed her case until today. The boys’ investigation took place behind closed doors, after which their case was postponed until next month. All three teenagers were released into the care of their parents.

An older sister of the girl yesterday denied that the girl is being charged and said these were all lies, reports André Damons.

“I don’t know where you got that from. If you write it, you will be writing lies. We still believe the boys raped her,” is all she would say.

Gauteng Education Department spokesperson Charles Phahlane said yesterday they will wait until their own investigation has been completed before deciding on possible charges against the girl and whether she will be expelled. There is also the question of possible disciplinary steps against teachers and other learners.

Phahlane would not say whether the department’s view of the matter has changed and whether they now think the girl may have lied about what happened. “The investigation will guide us and we will wait until it has been completed,” he said.

Mhaga would not say anything about evidence currently before the court.

The old act stated that if someone 16 years of age or older has sex with a person younger than 16, the former would be charged with statutory rape. The act said nothing about the younger person.

The amended act, which came into effect in 2007, clearly states that when two people aged 16 and younger have sex, both must be charged.

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