A Cape Town teenager is recovering from the trauma of a school rugby initiation which turned into a nightmare when he was allegedly “raped” with a broomstick by his teammates.
The assault, which included the 16-year-old having his eyebrows and head shaved and a penis drawn on his bald head, was recorded on cellphones by the perpetrators.
The boy cannot be named, nor can his parents, to protect his identity. But the family has gone public with their ordeal to raise awareness.
The boy’s father told the Cape Argus and Kieno Kammies on 567 Cape Talk it began on Thursday March 15, when his son’s school, Edgemead High School, had invited him to attend a first team rugby camp at Velddrif on the West Coast.
At almost six-foot tall, his son had a long history of sporting success, having won the victor ludorum at his primary school for three years.
His son had set off with the team on the Friday for Stywelyne camp site. The parents received a late-night message from their son, asking them to call. “He was quite upset. He said the team had wanted to initiate him, so he had tried to hide, but he had had to go back to the bungalow ... and they then shaved his head bald.
His son had played a match the next day, at flyhalf.
After the match one of the older boys bought alcohol. The boy had passed out after drinking vodka. While unconscious, others shaved his eyebrows, sexually assaulted him with a broomstick and a banana, and pushed toothpaste up his nose.
He called his family the next morning. “ He was crying – very, very upset.”
The boy’s sister who lives in Langebaan was asked to collect the boy.
On the Monday morning the father reported the matter to the Edgemead High School principal, the coach and the sports director.
Police officers who visited the family at home, had viewed the photographs on the boy’s cellphone.
“We were told the photographs were enough evidence, and we did not need to go to the district surgeon,” the father told the Cape Argus.
This week, with the boy at a new school, the father decided to go public with their ordeal.
“I have had no feedback from the school whatsoever, or the education department. We just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed that a case was registered at Bothasig police station, and investigated by Vredenburg police. The senior StateProsecutor declined to prosecute and the case was withdrawn.
The Cape Argus requested an explanation from the National Prosecuting Authority today but did not get one by the time of going to press.
Paddy Attwell, speaking for the provincial education department, said the school had suspended some pupils and district officials were investigating the reported incident.
The school declined to comment.