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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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Girl learner allegedly raped by older schoolboy in Benoni

Bonile Khanyi

Another school in Gauteng has been rocked by sexual assault claims — this time in Benoni. 

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has confirmed that another learner was allegedly raped in Benoni over the weekend. This is the third sexual assault case the department has dealt with in the past two weeks. 

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the department said the incident occurred on Saturday, October 14.

“It is alleged, that learners organised a farewell function outside the schooling environment, at a Park in Benoni. The victim (Grade 8) who was under the influence of alcohol was offered a toilet by the boy learner (Grade 10) who resides next to the said Park. Subsequently, the boy allegedly raped the girl,” the department said.

Meanwhile, on Monday morning, Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi, visited a Mahube Valley Secondary School in Mamelodi where it is alleged a 17-year-old learner reported that a Community Police Forum (CPF) guard had raped her at the school’s matric dance in Bronkhorspruit last month.

The incident is alleged to have taken place on September 30, and a case was apparently opened earlier this month.

During his visit, MEC Lesufi said the 28-year-old guard was arrested and will appear in the Bronkhorspruit Magistrate’s court on Wednesday.

In another incident that has rocked the province, a 57-year-old scholar patroller was arrested last week for sexually assaulting 87 learners at a primary school in Soweto.

On Sunday, Lesufi addressed a meeting between parents and the School Governing Body (SGB) at the AB Xuma primary school in Orlando East.

During his address, Lesufi said that proper validation still needed to be finalised regarding the number of victims.

The MEC also apologised to parents for a communication breakdown after they expressed their anger about apparent delays in the reporting of the matter by the school principal.

On Thursday, the department removed the principal and her entire management team, who are facing an independent investigation.

Meanwhile, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) says it is outraged at the molestation of school pupils and will now be taking the matter forward.

Speaking to Inside Education on Monday, CGE spokesperson Javu Baloyi said going forward, officials will need to ensure that the school environment is created to be conducive.

“Those that are patrolling the school are vetted going forward, to eliminate the roses among the thorns, because some of these predators they take advantage because we don’t know their background,” said Baloyi.

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