A mother says she’s lost faith in the justice and education systems after her 13-year-old daughter was allegedly gang-raped at school.
The teen was allegedly lured to a deserted room and attacked by three boys, aged 14, 16 and 18, while two female classmates looked on.
The mother says her daughter is now being bullied at school for speaking out and videos of these attacks have emerged on social media.
In the clips, the girl is seen being viciously beaten by girls while school children cheer on her bullies.
The 36-year-old mom from Belhar says the alleged rape occurred at the end of first term last year.
Her traumatised daughter only informed the vice-principal when school re-opened for the second term after a friend convinced her to, the woman says.
“She was taken to Karl Bremer Hospital and forced entry was proven before I laid a charge, but now she is being victimised for being a victim of rape?” says the mom.
“That principal dared to tell me to find my daughter another school and assured me the department knew and the matter is closed.
“My child is repeating Grade 8 after the principal told her to stay at home, that she would get an average mark and definitely pass, but he lied.”
The mother says her daughter’s alleged rapists are still at school.
On Thursday, the now 14-year-old girl, for the first time revealed details of her alleged ordeal.
Sitting with an expressionless face, she recalls: “I was outside during a free period with some classmates when a boy said my friends wanted to show me something.”
“I went into the hall and he took me to the abandoned toilet behind the stage where the old gym equipment is stacked.”
“Two guys held me down and told me not to scream, they smacked me and then three raped me while the girls watched.
“Two of the guys ran away and are witnesses in my case laid with the police.”
“I just lay there and covered my face. I blocked it out … the pain and everything. They only stopped when the caretaker came to the door to lock up and ran off.”
“I left not saying anything. I was too afraid.”
She went home and as usual washed the dishes. Her grandmother found her crying in the kitchen, but she would not speak.
When school re-opened, she broke her silence by speaking to the vice-principal and her mother was called in.
“He didn’t believe us. He said my daughter only recently came to his school while he knew the boys for longer,” says the woman.
That’s when the bullying started. “I told my mom about two attacks, but it happened five times,” says the girl.
Spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Department Millicent Merton said the department is not aware of the case.
“We will have a full investigation done and take these matters very seriously.”
Police confirmed one suspect has been arrested.
Police spokesperson, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, says: “The suspect appeared in court and the case was finalised. The complainant was satisfied that the school was going to attend to the matter as the suspect was also a learner.”
The girl’s mother says she was not aware of this turn of events and would be taking the matter further.