A 12-year-girl is struggling to sleep and has not returned to school after she was raped, allegedly by four of her peers in Elsies River a week ago.
According to the mother, who can’t be named to protect the child, the incident happened around 2pm while her daughter was on her way home from a friend.
“The four boys aged between 14 and 16 attacked her and dragged her to a known local drug house and proceeded to rape her.
“What hurts us the most is that this is not the first incident that happened in that house, and the community is quiet. I don’t know how many more girls should become victims before something is done.
“My daughter struggles to sleep, eat and can’t even focus at school.
“She is in Grade 7, but lately she is just off and refuses to engage with other children.
“Whenever she sees boys she turns red, you can tell from her eyes that she is really hurt.
“As a mother I feel helpless that I wasn’t able to save her from that incident. We really need to do more in raising young boys because this is not it.
“We as the family are also scared for her, we don’t know what can happen to us or her, all we want is justice.
“These boys need to be taught a lesson, that what they did is not acceptable in society. They are ruining young girls’ futures and theirs in the process too,” she said.
Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said a case of rape was opened and four boys were charged.
“This office can confirm that four suspects between the ages of 14 and 16 were arrested on a charge of rape.
“The assessment process was followed and the suspects appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court yesterday,” he said.
The National Prosecuting Authority did not respond to queries by deadline on Monday.
Spokesperson to Education MEC David Maynier, Kerry Mauchline, said: “The school informed the district regarding the alleged incident, which was not school-related. Our circuit social worker conducted support sessions with both the learner and the parent last week, and gave advice on the organisations that can assist the family.
“As the learner has not been back to school since the incident, the school is providing academic support, and remains in contact with the family to hear about any developments on the case.”
Director of child rights organisation Molo Songololo, Patric Solomons, said children need to be educated about the consequences of their actions.
“There is an increase in the sexualisation of our children and they fall victim to abuse perpetrated by adults and children themselves.
“In a case like this, the children must be assessed and in this case, they are definitely liable.
“Our children experience these things and think that it’s right, they are groomed and get a lot of sexual content that entices them into thinking this is correct or is the right behaviour.
“Parents should try to pay more attention to the children they are raising and always be protective of their future and what they are being exposed to.
“This is very worrying. The children are exposed to a lot and it’s traumatic to those who fall victims, we have a very challenging situation,” he said.
The Department of Social Development was expected to respond in due course.