A community policing forum (CPF) member who was stationed at Mamelodi secondary school has been arrested following the alleged rape of a pupil at the school's matric dance in September.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Monday visited the school to receive a report and determine what interventions were necessary after he was made aware of the incident on Friday.
"The suspect has been arrested and will appear in the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, and we are hopeful that we will deal with all the relevant matters," said Lesufi.
The MEC said the alleged rape happened around 02:00, and that the CPF patroller was caught in the act.
However, when the pupil and the patroller were questioned, they both denied that anything had happened.
According to Lesufi, it is alleged that the guard arranged accommodation close to where the matric ball was being held.
When the pupil went missing from the matric dance venue, the school's teachers started searching for her and got information that she might be with the guard.
"When the teachers went there, the report that I received is that they caught the guard in the act."
Turned away from police station
It was only when the school's principal questioned the pupil again that she conceded that something had happened.
"During that session, the learner confessed that something happened, and on the basis of that, the principal notified the parents, even though the learner was very unhappy that the principal wanted to notify the parents," said Lesufi.
When the principal accompanied the pupil and her parents to the police station to open a case, they were turned away by officers who said the incident did not happen in their area of policing.
"I am emphasising that point [police turning the pupil away] because it's a point that I am completely disgusted with. If the police are still turning back people without rushing to gather evidence, it's a serious cause for concern and a matter that will be raised with the relevant authorities."
Lesufi said while the police could be faulted for not gathering evidence early, the reality was that the pupil had been in the department's care and was allegedly harmed under its watch.
"We also must take [the] blame."
Lesufi said in the reports he received, it had also emerged that the CPF patroller allegedly had relationships with two other pupils at the school and that he had a series of relationships with pupils from a school where he previously worked.
He added that there were rumours that the pupil and the CPF patroller were in a relationship and that they had consensual sex. He said all of these allegations would be investigated.
Lesufi also revealed that he had received a call from a family member of a pupil who was raped over the weekend during a school outing in Benoni.
Earlier in October, a primary school in Soweto came under the spotlight after it emerged that at least 87 pupils had been allegedly sexually abused by their scholar patroller.
That school's security guard, in his 50s, was arrested last Monday, October 9. He appeared briefly in the Protea Magistrate's Court and will be held in custody until October 18, when he is expected to apply for bail.
READ: Soweto school guard accused of sexual assault 'seemed like an angel'
In light of the recent incidents, Lesufi said it was clear that the vetting process of people working at schools and the reporting mechanisms involved needed a complete overhaul.