A forensic social worker is currently conducting “work sessions” with 10 young boys who were allegedly terrorised and molested by four teenagers at near Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal in January.
According to Colonel Makhosi Ncube of the Empangeni Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS), these sessions are to assess whether victims will be able to testify during court proceedings, Zululand Observer reported.
“After they have completed all six sessions, findings will then be reported to the prosecutor, investigating officer and parents,” she said.
The victims, aged between 8 and 12 years, were reportedly exploited by the four suspects at Injunga Dam in the uMkhobose area.
It is alleged they were ordered to strip naked before being brutally assaulted and forced to have sexual intercourse with each other.
On Thursday the suspects, ranging between 15 and 19 years, briefly appeared at eSikhawini Magistrate’s Court facing charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and compelled rape.
The case was postponed to 12 May, and the two older suspects will remain at eSikhaleni police holding cells while the other two will remain at Elsier Place of Safety in Pinetown until the case resumes.
If the case goes to trial, it is also expected that Victim Impact Statements will be prepared by the court preparations officer.
These statements will allow people most directly affected by the alleged crime to address the court during the decision-making process.
The victims are still undergoing trauma counselling with the Zululand Mental Health Society.
– Caxton News Service