Sex case girl’s terror

2010-04-17 00:00

A 16-YEAR-OLD tourism student at the uMgungundlovu Further Education and Training College is too terrified to attend lectures because a male classmate, who allegedly forced her hand down his pants, has been allowed back until the case is finalised in court.

The accused allegedly grabbed the teen’s hand during class while the teacher was out, unzipped his pants, and tried to force her to grab his private parts.

The police have confirmed that a case of sexual assault was opened last month and that the 22-year-old suspect, whose name is known to the Weekend Witness, was arrested. He was granted bail and the case was adjourned to a later date. He cannot be named until he has pleaded.

The emotional girl and her mother say they are upset about how the college and the police have handled the case.

The mother claims the impression created by the college is that she should drop the charges so her daughter can go back to school. The mother claims that these suggestions were made on separate occasions to both her and her daughter by the Msunduzi campus principal.

She claims that all the college is offering is counselling, and for both parties to sit and talk, but with no guarantees of her daughter’s safety.

“Unfortunately, my daughter’s studies had to stop, but he is allowed to carry on. My daughter asked to write her exams last month and was told she would be called during the holidays, but nothing has happened. But he is back writing his.”

She believes the college is sympathising with the alleged offender, a black man, rather than the white 16-year-old victim. This view is also held by other observers, who feel the case has become a race issue.

W eekend Witness understands that the college’s decision to have the man back at school might have to do with heated student protests when he was arrested, demanding that the college apply pressure for him to be released on bail — and also pay the bail.

The girl’s mother has complained about the Child Protection Unit at the Mountain Rise police station, where the case was referred a month ago. She said no one has contacted her, and claims that it took a newspaper article for them to find out about the student’s release.

“My daughter was doing better, but she is back in such a mental state the doctor has put her on antidepressants. She can’t sleep and her eating habits have changed. And all I’m asking for is some guidance and information on what is going on,” said the mother.

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