Pupils film girl’s gang-rape at school
Erna van Wyk
At least 10 Grade 8-pupils stood by and filmed on their cellphones their classmate being raped by three boys at her school, the girl’s family said yesterday.
The family alleged the girl had been drugged and gang-raped by three schoolboys. They feared she would be traumatised over and over again as cellphone videos of the attack kept on circulating among pupils.
The attack on the school grounds of Jules High School in Jeppestown, Johannesburg, on Thursday, was exacerbated by a set of shocking claims that:
»?Teachers at the school allegedly stood in a group and laughed at the video footage when shown by the pupils.
»?And that the girl was told by teachers that she deserved it because she was drunk.
When City Press visited the family yesterday, the girl had just returned from trauma counselling. She was too distraught to talk, clutching onto her medication to prevent pregnancy and curb HIV infection.
Her grandmother and uncle said all Grade 8 pupils were at the school on Thursday to collect their term tables as they were not writing an exam on that day. But instead of giving the children this information and sending them home, the teachers sent the pupils to wait on the sportsground, without supervision.
“My niece and her friend had R13 and asked friends for R3 because they wanted to buy chips and cooldrink,” said her uncle.
But, according to initial newspaper reports, the girls were given R100 and came back with a 2litre Sprite. The two girls also drank from the Sprite bottle and began feeling drowsy.
“One of the boys started kissing my niece. Then the other guys also came,” the uncle said.
His niece was allegedly dragged by the boys through a hole in the fence to an adjacent veld where they gang-raped her. At this stage the pupils were taking cellphone videos of the incident.
“My niece called her sister and when her sister arrived she saw teachers standing in a group, looking at the cellphone footage and laughing.
“My niece (the victim’s sister) also told me that when she went to the principal (G van Vuuren) to tell him about the rape he apparently did not want to believe the victim had been drugged, and said she was drunk and that she should go lay a charge at a police station.
“Imagine you get a call saying your granddaughter has been raped and then you hear teachers have been watching the video and laughing.
“When I went to the police station, I asked my niece very sternly over and over: ‘Have you been drinking?’. Every time she said no, and that she had been drugged and had consumed no liquor.”
Her alleged rapists were back at school on Friday to write exams. This infuriated the family. By yesterday afternoon the boys had not yet been arrested. Sapa reported the identities of the boys were known but the arrests were pending.
“We haven’t spoken to them or their parents yet because we are still investigating. It’s a sensitive issue,” said police spokesperson Warrant Officer Richard Munyai.
Education department spokesperson Charles Phahlane said the claims against the teachers would be investigated. But the family of the girl said that up until yesterday they had not been contacted by the principal, the education department or the investigating officer.