THREE 14-year-old boys are in jail after they allegedly gang-raped a 13-year-old girl and recorded the incident on a cellphone video.
The recordings were allegedly circulated among their friends at their schools.
The boys, two of them pupils at the Leondale High School and one from a local primary school, allegedly followed the girl when she was returning from school and took turns to rape her.
The girl told her father about the incident and he reported it to the police.
The teenagers have been refused bail by the Germiston magistrate's court in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.
They appeared in court last Friday.
Police spokesperson Captain Mega Ndobe said yesterday that the police had confiscated the boys' cellphones as part of their investigations.
He said the alleged rape might be related to "Izikhothane", a trend in which pupils gather after school and boast about their escapades.
"It is a competition," Ndobe said.
"They drink alcohol and sometimes use drugs and then make fun of what the others are wearing or poke fun at the virgins in the group."
The girl's father said their family was devastated by the incident. He said she was severely traumatised and could not sleep at night.
The boys live in Spruitview in Ekurhuleni.
The police said the girl, who was known to the boys, came from the same neighbourhood.
It was reported that in Cape Town teenagers record sex scenes on their cellphones in school toilets, quiet corners of city malls and even in public parks.
Joan van Niekerk of Childline said in some of the cases of rape by children the perpetrators were not aware of the consequences of their actions.
She said people under the age of 16 were not considered sexually mature in South Africa.
Van Niekerk said most child rapists were not educated about responsible sexual behaviour by their parents.
Van Niekerk said the courts should take firm action against these alleged child rapists but warned against their being detained.
"Putting many children in one place can lead them to continue their actions or could lead to their being victimised."
She said they should be placed under strict supervision of their parents and a probation officer.
"They should be in the treatment programme for two years.
"During this time they should be assessed concerning the reasons for the rape and should be taught how to be sexually responsible."