More girls and women are increasingly becoming unsafe in South Africa, with the authorities doing very little to rescue abuse. The family of the 17-year-old Durban girl whose assault video went viral yesterday feel let down by her school and by the police who refused to charge the perpetrator.
The teary victim – a pupil at Siyathuthuka Secondary in Inanda, north of Durban – refused to watch the video, but her sister confirmed it was her.
The incident took place in November last year.
Has decided to withhold the family’s names to avoid further trauma.
The father, a single parent, has since taken his daughter out of the school, fearing for her safety after the video was shared among pupils, teachers and went viral in the community.
“I went to the school’s management, who claimed to be unaware of the incident. I also went to the boy’s family but they were not helpful.
“I then went to the local satellite police station but the police said they would not charge the boy because it wouldn’t help as a court would release him on bail,” the father said.
He said when he saw the video a few weeks later he nearly took the law into his own hands but calmed down and decided that his daughter should change schools.
The father said he felt victimised, helpless and humiliated by the incident because he did not know how to help his daughter.
“That’s why I thought the best thing was to take her out of that school,” he said.
Recounting the events of that day, the victim’s sister said it all started when she and a group of pupils, including the perpetrator, teased each other.
“He lost it and slapped me on the face. Later my sister went to him to inquire what had happened.
“That’s where the argument started and he beat her and kicked her to the ground in between the computer laboratory and other classrooms, while another boy took the video as he cheered him on,” she said.
The matter was reported by the sister to the school management, who did nothing to sanction the perpetrator.
“All my sister was doing was to establish what had happened.”