A 17-year-old suspect is under arrest after a Grade 7 pupil, 12, told teachers she had been raped after having gone home to fetch her mask she had forgotten, in Bulwer in the Harry Gwala District.
KZN SAPS spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed a case of rape had been opened at Donnybrook SAPS and would be transferred to Port Shepstone FCS Unit.
“It is alleged yesterday at 8am, a 12-year-old girl was raped by unknown suspect while at Mahohoho area in Donnybrook. A 17-year-old suspect was arrested on Tuesday morning for rape by Donnybrook SAPS. He will appear in the Ixopo Magistrate’s Court,” she said.
The Department from Basic Education confirmed the pupil was undergoing socio-psychological support.
The learner was not allowed to enter the school without a mask on Monday and, according to a statement by the Department of Basic Education, she then told teachers she would go home and fetch a mask and return to school.
“She indicated that she stays not very far from the school and she ran to fetch it. When coming back to school she reported that she had been raped, the principal took her to the clinic and the matter was reported to the police,” a department spokesperson said.
Teacher union, Naptosa, expressed outrage at the attack.
“The learner paid the price for not wearing a mask! We repeatedly demanded that the Department of Education give direction to schools,” said Naptosa provincial chief executive, Thirona Moodley.
“Who decided to turn the learner away? Did the person know of the possible danger the learner will be in? When will common sense prevail over policy? Learners are going to lose their masks or arrive without masks, they are adjusting to the new rules and protocols, surely schools must be mindful of this and have contingency plans in place,” she said.
Moodley asked if every pupil who arrived at school without a mask, would be turned away. She said what then happens to those pupils who travel with public transport and have forgotten their masks at home.
“The Department of Education must put practical steps in place for principals to follow. This form of gender-based violence against our children must be strongly condemned and all must be done to bring the perpetrators to book,” she said.