Rape of grade 7 pupil a heinous crime against defenceless child: Motshekga
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said the rape of a grade 7 schoolgirl was a heinous crime against a defenceless child.
A 17-year-old was arrested after the incident near a primary school in Bulwer, KwaZulu-Natal, on Monday. The victim was attacked while walking home, not far from the school, to fetch her face mask.
“Rape is a crime and its perpetrators deserve the stiffest punishment. This rape of a pupil once again shines the light on the scourge of gender-based violence ripping apart our communities," said Motshekga.
"We reiterate our profound sadness and anguish over this painful and shameful event. Gender-based violence is a human rights violation with major social and developmental impacts for survivors, their families, communities and society.”
The minister said these incidents led to psychological trauma and could potentially have psychological, behavioural and physical consequences for survivors. She said support would be provided for the pupil.
“Many survivors of gender-based violence and rape are unable to access the help they need. Families and loved ones of survivors can also experience indirect trauma, and many do not know how to provide effective support,” she said.
Motshekga applauded the arrest of the alleged perpetrator.
“We commend the swift action by the Donnybrook SAPS in apprehending the 17-year-old suspect and the seriousness with which they are handling the case.
"The department will continue to ensure the pupil, who is a minor, receives the necessary psycho-social support from the district auxiliary support services, and her identity is protected as she comes to terms with this painful and regrettable ordeal,” she said.