14 March 2018

South Africa: Allegations That Cop Investigating Soweto School Sexual Assault Case Molested Children 'Quite Serious'

Allegations of molestation against an investigator assigned to a Soweto primary school sexual assault case "are quite serious", said Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Deliwe de Lange on Wednesday.

The officer was meant to be investigating allegations that at least 87 pupils were sexually assaulted by a security guard at AB Xuma Primary School.

"We therefore wish to assure all parties concerned that the matter is receiving the necessary attention as a matter of priority. This is also a very sensitive matter as it involves minors, and therefore needs to be handled with utmost caution" said De Lange.

The allegations were levelled against the investigator from the SAPS' family, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) unit on Tuesday.

The Gauteng education department revealed on Tuesday that the forensic investigator was alleged to have abused two pupils at AB Xuma Primary School.

A sexual assault case was opened against the investigator by parents at the Orlando police station, according to the department.

Steve Mabona, spokesperson for the department, said the incident allegedly occurred on Monday, March 12, when the officer visited the school to prepare the young victims for court.

"It is alleged that the investigator sexually molested the two Grade 3 [pupils], aged seven and eight years old, respectively," he said.

It was unfortunate and regrettable that these were the very same pupils who were the victims of the school patroller, in the hands of someone entrusted to ensure their safety, the department said.

De Lange pleaded with the affected parties, including the school and the public, to allow the SAPS the space to investigate.

"When ready, police will be able to give a factual presentation at an appropriate time," she said.

The officer has been withdrawn from the case with immediate effect.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the allegations were shocking and disturbing.

"A person entrusted with protecting children has violated their trust and that of their parents. This man should [feel] the full might of the law."

Source: News24

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