Eastern Cape department of education MEC Fundile Gade has condemned a recent incident in which three high school boys allegedly gang-raped a 13-year-old grade 8 girl in the school’s hostel.
The department said the incident is said to have taken place on June 6, but was only formally reported to it on Friday.
“As the department, we will always side with the victim. As such we are doing everything in our power to support the family and the victim. We are trying to speed up our investigation while methodically combing through the critical information and observing the law at the same time,” said Gade.
His spokesperson, Vuyiseka Mboxela, said the matter was receiving attention from the education and health departments.
“A social worker has been assigned by the department to assist the victim and the family during this period,” said Mboxela, adding that the victim is receiving support and counselling at Frontier hospital in Queenstown.
“A case was opened with the local police station and … the boys were arrested and released on bail. Internally, the department has also opened a case against the alleged perpetrators and as such, there is a pending disciplinary hearing against them. Since the matter is very sensitive, the department is closely monitoring it and getting constant updates on the progress, linking up closely with the social worker and the family,” she said.
Gade cautioned pupils and teachers that such incidents will not be tolerated.
“We shall make sure that justice is served for the victim. Additionally, we are observing that there’s a new pandemic emerging in our societies. This pandemic is manifesting itself through either a boy child raping fellow women students or the extraordinary, extreme scenarios of a male teacher raping or having an affair with the girl child, or a women teacher having a relationship with a boy child. Both are straight dismissal offences should you be found guilty, so be warned,” Gade said.
Eastern Cape education MEC Fundile Gade has condemned the alleged gang rape of a 13-year-old grade 8 pupil inside the school’s hostel by three fellow pupils.