The recent spate of sexual assault cases involving learners in South Africa has disturbed Cabinet, Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said on Thursday.
“Cabinet has expressed concern following disturbing reports of crimes against children, the most recent one being the alleged assault of more than 80 pupils at the AB Xuma Primary School in Orlando, Soweto by a scholar patrol guard,” the newly-appointed communications minister said addressing the media following a Cabinet meeting.
“The provincial department is commended for the prompt response by removing, with immediate effect, the senior management of the school, bringing on board social workers and instituting an investigation by an independent body.”
She said Cabinet calls on all communities in South Africa to work together, to protect all children from any form of danger and abuse.
Communities were also urged to partner with local police to keep their areas safe.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was this week dealing with numerous cases was of alleged sexual assault on learners in the province, including a case in Mamelodi, Pretoria and another in Benoni, Ekurhuleni.
During his visit to the Mamelodi secondary school, Lesufi said the latest incidents add to the pain already felt by the provincial education authorities.
“This [Mamelodi alleged rape] case adds to the pain that we are already going through, in terms of the school [where at least 87 learners were allegedly molested] in Soweto, [Johannesburg]. Sadly, journalists, it is unfortunate this morning [on Monday], I got another report of another girl child that was raped over the weekend during a school tour in Benoni,” he said at the time.
“We are going through these difficulties simply because, we believe that other people, when they are assigned these responsibilities, they are not taking their responsibilities.”
Lesufi was at the Pretoria school on Monday morning, where a school guard, aged 24, has now been arrested for sexually molesting a female learner.
Authorities at the school told Lesufi that the guard was found having sexual intercourse with the pupil on the sidelines of a matric ball event.