Rape case puts spotlight on gangs
Gangsterism and the impact on Komani schools has come to the fore with the latest incident of the alleged rape of a boy by two pupils who are allegedly gang members in the school toilets of Lukhanji Primary School recently.
The two suspects are both aged 14.
The victim’s grandfather said he had noted strange behaviour by the child. When he started enquiring from family members, he was told about the alleged rape.
The child had allegedly been threatened not to tell anyone.
The grandfather said he was shocked that the school had not communicated with the family after the alleged incident was reported.
He also said there should have been better care and security to look after the children during school hours.
He said the child had since lost weight and was easily startled, with social workers called in to help him.
He called for the education department to become more involved in matters like this affecting schools.
School governing body (SGB) chair Daliwonga
Adonis said while procedures had to be followed in terms of protecting children, it had to be considered that while the two boys accused of the rape also had a right to education, the other pupils had to be kept safe. Parents were asking for the two accused boys to write their exams in isolation.
He said one of the accused had previously been accused of the assault of other children.
Parents recently engaged in a protest, calling for the two boys to be removed from the school. The child who had allegedly been raped, had not returned to school.
A concerned community member, Sabatha Barnes, said upon hearing of the alleged rape, he had accompanied the child’s grandfather to search for the two suspects.
They took both boys, who were living on the streets of Komani and who were believed to be gang members, to the police station.
The Rep reported (“Gangs at Mlungisi schools” November 2) that pupils from KwaKomani Comprehensive School and Luvuyo Lerumo High School were believed to had been involved in the stabbing of a Luvuyo Lerumo pupil in an alleged gang-related incident recently.
In the story (“Schools shocker: Drugs, weapons seized from pupils in crime swoop”, August 31) police and the safety and liaison department visited Nkwanca and John Noah high schools where they confiscated many items, including knives, scissors, cigarettes, drugs, condoms, screwdriver, sharpened toothbrushes and dagga seeds inside lip balm containers.
Chris Hani West district director Nkosinathi Godlo said gangsterism was unacceptable in schools.
“At the beginning of the year we worked with the department of safety and liaison in Sada to fight these gangs that are entering into schools.
“We as a department have a drive to stop gangsterism, but we cannot win it alone. We have a programme called safety in schools, but we need the community.”
Police spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni said the police held awareness campaigns at schools where co-operation between all stakeholders including the School Governing Body and Community Policing Forum (CPF) were needed.
She said operations were done including removing drugs and dangerous weapons, but that Komani areas did not have a high rate of gangsterism.