'Raped' boy stays away from school
A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy allegedly raped at a boarding school for boys in Driefontein, Mpumalanga, has not been to school since the beginning of the third term because he fears he may be attacked again.
The boy was allegedly attacked by four schoolmates in March.
His mother said her son told her he had been attacked on two occasions. One of the alleged attackers, a nine-year-old, is a cousin of the victim.
"He said four boys attacked him. Two boys pinned him down while the others, who are both aged nine, took turns raping him," the mother said.
She said she had become suspicious when one of the women who do the children's laundry told her her son was messing his pants.
"I could not understand what was happening. When he came home one weekend, my mother checked his buttocks and said that he had been penetrated," she said.
"I was shocked. I still am. It pains me to know that my son has been violated where I had sent him to get an education.
"I fear he will never recover. What happened hurts me a lot. He does not want to talk about this any more. It's not that easy for me and my family."
Provincial education department spokesman Jasper Zwane confirmed the incident. However, he said it was a "case of sexual activity among two learners at the school and was reported to the department on July 16".
"Subsequently, an investigation was conducted by the department and it was found that there are signs that confirm this," Zwane said.
"As soon as we receive a detailed report from social workers, the department will take appropriate action."
The victim's cousin was expelled in July and his accomplice was expelled two weeks ago after the grandfather of the alleged victim wrote a letter of complaint to the principal and the local education authorities.
Shaheda Omar, spokesperson of the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children, said the children should be sent for counselling.
"They must receive therapy. The perpetrators must also be brought to book. But that does not mean they should be sent to jail."
The Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities is also concerned.
"We are particularly worried about the trend [in which] children are sexually molesting other children. We call upon parents and all caregivers to be vigilant and ensure the safety of children," said ministry spokesman Cornelius Monama.