Police vow to take ‘firm action’ against school assault video abuser

12 August 2017 - 13:24 By Matthew Savides
The boy‚ 19‚ was handed over to Inanda police on Friday night.
The boy‚ 19‚ was handed over to Inanda police on Friday night.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Police have promised "firm action" against the teenager accused of tripping‚ punching and kicking a 16-year-old girl in November last year.

The boy‚ 19‚ was handed over to Inanda police on Friday night‚ SAPS confirmed on Saturday morning. The boy's dad took him to police‚ and he is being detained in custody until an expected court appearance on Monday.

“It is very disturbing to see a young woman being assaulted in such a vicious manner by a fellow learner in a space where she should have been safe. It is even more disturbing to note that the perpetrator is a young man in the prime of his life who should not be exhibiting such violent behaviour especially towards young females‚” said acting KwaZulu-Natal commissioner Major-General Bheki Langa.

Both the victim and her assaulter were pupils at the Siyathuthuka Secondary School in Inanda‚ north of Durban‚ at the time of the incident in November last year. Both have since moved to other schools.

Langa added that he had ordered the Inanda SAPS station commander‚ Brigadier Mnganga‚ to personally oversee the matter. A case of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm was opened.

This comes after the girl's father - in an exclusive interview with TimesLIVE on Thursday night - said that police had initially refused to open a case when the family reported it in November last year. Langa said "every attempt" was being made to find out why officers turned the family away.

"A statement was also obtained from the father of the victim‚ who alleges that he spoke to police officials in November last year with regards to the assault and was advised against opening a case.

Although he cannot recall who he spoke to‚ every attempt will be made to identify those who may have been responsible so that they could be brought to book. The SAPS views the problem of gender violence in a very serious light and will not accept officials who act outside the prescripts of the law as all as those who do not comply with our internal directives in this regard.

“We are working very closely with the father of the victim to identify the officials that he spoke to last year. We view the actions of these individuals as very serious misconduct and they will be dealt with very firmly‚" he said.

Meanwhile‚ the KZN education department said it was taking action against the school for how it handled the case last year.

"As the KZN education department we visited the school [on Friday morning] on a fact-finding mission and the school principal gave us a report which indicated that‚ in fact‚ the incident happened in November 2016.

We have identified some gaps in the manner in which the school handled the matter‚ which are the things that we must then correct as the department. We have ordered that the internal tribunal be started afresh and that it be headed at a level of a district office to ensure transparency‚" the department said in a statement on Saturday morning.

The statement also confirmed that the 19-year-old was being kept in SAPS custody.

"The department of education in KwaZulu-Natal will continue to ensure the safety of all learners in schools. We also wish to thank all those whistle-blowers who continue to report bad behaviour to our authorities.

We stand firm against all forms of violent incidents that may occur in our schools. We will follow this particular case closely to ensure that justice is served‚" the statement concluded.

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