The police in Kimberley are investigating two cases of rape which allegedly occurred at a primary school in Ritchie this week.
THE POLICE in Kimberley are investigating two cases of rape which allegedly occurred at a primary school in Ritchie this week.
The first incident occurred on Monday when a 12-year-old girl was allegedly pinned down by a 14-year-old learner, who then forced her into a sexual act in front of other learners.
There were apparently no teachers in the classroom at the time of the incident. Other learners had to intervene.
In another incident, two boys were allegedly raped at the same school.
Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Sello confirmed that in both cases the suspects are minors.
“As per the Children’s Act they will be assessed by a social worker before appearing in court,” Sello said.
The 72-year-old foster parent of the 12-year-old girl is battling to come to terms with what happened.
“She (the girl) feels unsafe and cannot bear to stay in a room alone,” said the foster parent. The child also refuses to return to school.
She indicated that social workers had started counselling sessions for the girl, but expressed disappointment in the school for not dealing with the issue in a “decent and professional manner”.
“My daughter was sent home alone, in a traumatic state. She arrived home in a terrible state, crying and unable to speak. The principal did not even arrange for her to be accompanied nor did they call me in, as a parent, to tell me what had happened.
“I went to the school looking for answers. That is when the principal asked me not to reveal what had happened and said she feared that the school might be closed permanently,” the mother said.
She has requested the Northern Cape Department of Education to intervene. “This is pure negligence and shows a lack of commitment by teachers and the principal. I want to know where the teachers were when this happened.”
The department confirmed that it has received one report from the school relating to an incident that occurred on Monday.
Department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said the incident involves two learners and charges of rape.
“The department condemns this incident in the strongest terms and we have tasked our district office to launch an investigation into this matter.
“We have activated our Employee Support Services to provide counselling to the affected learners,” Van der Merwe said.
He said both learners are currently not at school, while the school governing body (SGB) was scheduled to meet on Thursday.
“Our schools should be centres of excellence and a safe haven for all learners. We will leave no stone unturned to expedite the finalisation of this matter.”
Van der Merwe said that the department was not aware of allegation that two boys were raped at the school.