The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) expressed concern at the reports of sexual harassment and substance abuse at schools, saying it wanted to meet decision-makers involved in the Jules High School rape case.
“We wish to state that this is, however, merely one incident that is receiving national attention, within a context of widespread sexual harassment and abuse that occurs in schools,” the CGE said in a statement.
Two under-aged boys and a girl have been charged with statutory rape after having sex on the Jules school grounds in Johannesburg, a controversial decision which has drawn much criticism against the National Prosecuting Authority.
The CGE said it had been asked by Chapter Nine institutions to monitor the Jules case with the Public Protector.
“In this regard, the two institutions will meet with the Principal of the School, the relevant South African Police Service Station Commander, and the National Prosecuting Authority to determine how this case is being investigated, and what action is being taken.”
The CGE said it also intended meeting with the department of education to see what measures were being taken to raise awareness around gender-based violence in schools.
“The CGE, together with other Chapter Nine institutions, wish to express concern at the rising levels of sexual harassment and abuse taking place in our schools, including related allegations of substance abuse,” it said.
Chapter Nine institutions refer to a group of organisations established in terms of Chapter Nine of the Constitution to guard democracy.
They include the SA Human Rights Commission, the CGE, the Public Protector, the Auditor-General and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.