School body to question victim

2014-06-10 00:00

A FORMER Voortrekker High School pupil, the victim of an alleged illicit sexual initiation ritual, will be questioned today during an official inquiry set by the governing body.

The pupil, who has since moved schools fearing retribution, claims he was assaulted over a three-month period during an initiation ritual practised at the school’s boarding establishment.

The boy (14) blew the whistle last week, claiming he was branded with a hot iron during the ritual, allegedly orchestrated by a group of senior prefects.

At the weekend new details emerged of what is alleged to have gone on behind closed doors and could add charges of sexual assault and the sexual grooming of a minor to the serious assault charges police are investigating.

In his statement, the boy claims he was forced to observe pornographic images after being stripped naked.

“However, on Monday, 12 May, the matrics made us stand in the waskamer [bathroom] in our underwear. From there we were blindfolded, and pushed against walls and taken into a room individually. We had to take off our underwear, as well as the blindfold. We were made to stand in front of a laptop with a naked woman on the screen. We had to touch her private parts on the screen while [name withheld] said what he referred to as an oath and we had to repeat,” he wrote in a statement.

The statement said other aspects of the initiation ritual included:

• Grade 8 boys suffered daily beatings at the hands of matric boys, often with implements like pipes or belts;

• They were forced to take part in the “Volstruis”, during which they were stripped of their clothes and forced to run down a passage while they were struck by older boys;

• Boys were made to take off their clothes while their seniors took photographs of them;

• Boys were made to drink volumes of warm water and vinegar before intensive physical training;

• Pupils were made to beg for money, which was handed to their designated mentor, and if they failed to meet their quota, they were badly beaten.

The school, which insisted that their probe would not be influenced by official Department of Education and police investigations, has refused to comment.

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