Forensic team to investigate primary school gang rape

2015-07-06 19:13
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (File: Simone Kley)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (File: Simone Kley)

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Pretoria - The alleged gang rape of three girls at the Kutumela Molefi Primary School, east of Pretoria, will be investigated by an independent forensic team, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Monday.

He told reporters that details about the alleged incident were still sketchy, but he could confirm that three female pupils were allegedly raped by two male pupils on the school's premises.

He could not immediately give the ages of all the pupils involved, but said they were all under the age of 15.

"I don't want our children to contribute to our [rape] statistics. Not under my leadership," Lesufi said. "But now that it has happened, we must act. So that is why the forensic team will assist me to see what was wrong [in the school]."

He said Silverton police were currently investigating the case.

"I am deeply disappointed and hurt that this kind of activity [happened]. The time lag of reporting the matter and attending to this issue... is completely unacceptable," he said.

"We might have missed some important evidence."

It was previously reported that a parent had noticed something was wrong with their child and brought the matter to the school's attention last month after the alleged incident had taken place.

The parent was reportedly told that the principal would open a case with the police. However, there are allegations that this was not done by the next week, and that the police only started investigating at the end of June.

Lesufi said the investigation would determine who was at fault for any delays, would determine the facts of the case and would help in providing crucial information that could help prevent another incident like this happening.

He has met with the girls' parents, as well as one of the boys', the department's district officials, the chair of the School Governing Body and later with two of the three girls.

"The two learners indicated to me that whatever happened was through two boy learners and they mentioned their names," said Lesufi.

"I have also asked the HOD to immediately review the role played by everyone... and to see whether the matter was appropriately reported."

He said there were different reports "about who reported what at what stage".

"I have asked the district to advise me by Friday whether the alleged perpetrators or the victims would be at the same school when school opens [after the holiday]," Lesufi said.

"[However] after interviewing the victims, it is clear that they don't want to be in the same environment as [the two boys]."

He said social services would provide counselling to the girls and their families, and should they think the rest of the pupils in the school or the community itself needed counselling, he would mandate them to do so.

The two alleged rapists are under parental supervision.

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  pretoria  |  education  |  crime

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