THE father of a former Edgemead High School pupil is “disappointed” in the Western Cape Education Department’s investigation into the alleged sexual assault of his son on a school rugby camp.
The department has issued a warning to the school on initiation practices and ruled that supervision at a rugby camp where the pupil was allegedly sexually assaulted by fellow teammates had been “far from adequate”. It also said no evidence had been provided to prove any sexual assault took place.
Last week district officials completed their investigation of the incident, in which the 16-year-old pupil alleged that fellow pupils had sexually assaulted him with a broom and a banana in March.
The boy has since been moved to another school.
He said his fellow pupils had also shaved his head and eyebrows while they were on the camp in Velddrif.
On Friday, Education Department spokesman Paddy Attwell released a statement saying the aim of the investigation was to determine whether the pupil had been subjected to any act of sexual violation, humiliation or initiation at the camp.
“The investigation found that learners engaged in initiation practices which included shaving the hair of newcomers and drinking a non-alcoholic mixture of various substances. Certain team members consumed alcohol, despite a warning by the coach to the team not to do so.”
Attwell said some team members had subjected the victim to “humiliating treatment” and had taken photographs that surfaced on social media.
Edgemead High School responded to the incident two weeks ago saying it was “a prank” and it had found no evidence of criminal activity. Seven pupils were suspended for seven days.
The father of the boy spoke out to highlight the danger of initiation practices and said he had not been aware of the disciplinary action or that the boys had been suspended until the school communicated this through a media query.
“The only conclusion I can draw is that the internal investigation conducted by the governing body was flawed and deliberately biased.”
Attwell said the family had appointed lawyers to represent them should the case be reopened when the National Prosecuting Authority completes a review of the docket.