5 March 2019

South Africa: Three Soweto Grade 8 Pupils Suspended for Allegedly Raping a Fellow Pupil

Three Grade 8 pupils have been suspended from Fons Luminis Secondary School in Diepkloof, Soweto, for allegedly raping a fellow pupil on Friday.

The three were suspended on Tuesday morning, following a meeting between MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi, parents and members of the school governing body (SGB).

The three who have not been arrested were seen leaving the school premises accompanied by the parents.

The incident took place in De Deur, Vaal on Friday evening, during a school induction camp arranged for Grade 8 pupils only.

Lesufi said the purpose of the school trip was to inculcate the culture of the school into the Grade 8 pupils, where boys and girls were placed in separate rooms.

"The victim went to the boys' room and asked to see a specific boy to smoke hubbly bubbly. The incident then took place. Later, when confronted by teachers, two of the boys confirmed about taking part in the incident [rape]."

'Embarrassed'

Lesufi confirmed that a case was opened by the teachers.

"Teachers then reported the matter to the De Deur police station where a case [of rape] was opened. However, the case was then transferred to Diepkloof police station because at De Deur, police didn't have rape kit for rape. The docket has since been returned back to the De Deur police station for investigations," sad Lesufi.

The department has dispatched social workers to the school to assist both the survivor and her three alleged abusers.

Lesufi earlier addressed all Grade 8 pupils in a classroom about the incident. He said the alleged incident embarrassed him.

"What happened on Friday is ugly and bad. I am very embarrassed by the incident. I think you are still young. I thought you were there to learn the culture of the school and understand it.

"I am proud of your teachers and the principal. I have been here earlier to honour you for your hard work and discipline. I was told that some of you wanted to smoke something on that day. I am disappointed. I have instructed some officials to take samples of what you wanted to smoke for examinations to determine what it was," he said.

Lesufi then warned pupils that they shouldn't inappropriately touch each other, saying that behaviour will not be tolerated by the department.

"You touch a girl learner wrongly, you will leave this school. You also touch a boy learner wrongly you will leave this school. We don't have boyfriends and girlfriends in this school. We want ensure that everyone is safe here. The SGB has decided to suspend the three boys and we will continue to support them until we know what happened," said Lesufi.

The MEC pleaded with all learners to ensure that the survivor feels safe in the school and they should not victimise her further.

"Please support the victim, don't take her pictures and distribute them. Don't treat her like and outcast. She deserves to be supported. Please don't badmouth her, she is part of this school and deserves to treated with respect," pleaded Lesufi.

Source: News24

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