16 October 2017

South Africa: MEC Lesufi to Visit Another School to Probe New Rape Allegation

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is on Monday expected to visit a secondary school in Mamelodi East, Pretoria, where a pupil was allegedly raped by a scholar patroller.

He will be at the secondary school to receive a report on the alleged rape of the 17-year-old girl pupil, his spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed on Sunday.

The incident is alleged to have taken place on September 30 and a case was apparently opened earlier in October.

Lesufi spoke about the latest incident while addressing a meeting between parents and officials at a primary school in Soweto where 87 pupils were allegedly sexually abused by their scholar patroller.

However, Lesufi made it clear that "proper validation" still needed to be finalised regarding the number of the victims.

Lesufi, who described the alleged sexual abuses as a disaster, apologised to parents angry about apparent delays in the reporting of the matter by the school principal for a "communication breakdown".

He offered various measures to parents which could help "protect, support and defend" the affected children, and said the department would accept it if parents wanted to move their children to a different school.

The department would also ensure that if pupils were too traumatised to write exams, other arrangements would be made to complete an assessment of their progress.

The department chose to remove the school's principal and entire senior management team - who are facing an independent investigation.

Staff replacing those who had been suspended would begin work on Monday.

New security cameras would also be installed and various safety measures implemented at the school.

The school's security guard, in his 50s, was arrested last Monday, October 9.

He appeared briefly in the Protea North Magistrate's Court and was remanded in custody until October 18, when he is expected to apply for bail.


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