Limpopo education official 'appalled' by alleged rapes
The Limpopo education department says it will commit to helping police track down the men who allegedly abducted and raped two pupils in separate incidents in Limpopo this month.
A grade 12 pupil at Ramotshabi Secondary School, near Bochum, was walking to school with three friends on June 12 when they were stopped by a man with a knife and a chain.
According to an SABC report, the assailant let three of the pupils go who ran home to alert the victim’s mother.
While schools reopened on June 8, there was no transport for the pupils who instead were forced to walk to class, often through dense bush.
In another attack, a Rammutla Primary School pupil was allegedly raped while walking to school.
Education department MEC Polly Boshielo condemned the attacks.
“This is most painful as it targets young people who have opted to brave many other challenges presented by Covid-19 to return to school, in pursuit of a better future,” she said.
Boshielo called on local communities to co-operate with the police investigations and “take up their role of protecting women and children in our communities”.
As part of a plan to prevent further attacks, the education department has engaged the Blouberg municipality to clear bushes and vegetation along school routes, said department spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene.
Other strategies included providing awareness messages for pupils — especially those who have to walk to school — and strengthening relationships between police, community policing forums and school governing bodies.
The department also provides transport to qualifying pupils based on walking distance to schools.
“We have been providing transport to 2,540 grade 7 and 4,171 grade 12 learners through 380 service providers since reopening this month,” Chuene said.
Meanwhile, an eNatis check carried out before the schools reopened had revealed a number of non-compliant operators.
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