Kimberley - A pupil at a Northern Cape high school was allegedly raped and assaulted during an initiation ritual at the school’s hostel. The entire ordeal was caught on video.
The parents of the pupil have laid charges of assault and rape against the pupils involved.
In order to protect their son, the parents preferred to remain anonymous. They said that they laid the criminal charges after a group of Hoër Landbouskool (Northern Cape Agricultural High School) pupil hurt and humiliated their son in the presence of onlookers during an initiation ritual at the school in Jan Kempdorp.
“On Sunday night the instigator in this matter called all the Grade 8 learners together in what he termed an initiation process. When all the learners came together outside the hostel, he told the Grade 8 learners that they will not be initiated, but they will rather initiate my son,” the mother said.
“The instigator then told the learners to give orders to my son, to which one learner said he must do push-ups. He then got down and did the push-ups but another learner then hit him with a pipe. My son then told the child to stop hitting him. The instigator then took the pipe and hit him. My son got up and went to his room,” the mother said.
She said the incident, however, did not end there.
“My son was alone in his room when the instigator and other learners came into the room with three belts. There were also other children whom they called to come and witness the incident.
“They stripped my son naked and made him lie on his stomach on his bed. They then tied his hands and feet with the belts and put his shaving cream and soap all over his body. They then shaved his eyebrows off and shaved half of his hair. They initially wanted to leave his hair like that but one learner said he looked bad so they shaved it all off.
“The children also made racial slurs while they were busy with this.
“They then took a mop and spread the soap and the shaving cream on him. Another learner took a toothbrush and shoved it up his rectum. There are reports that they even shoved the wooden handle of the mop up his rectum,” the emotional mother said.
She added that her son had been harassed since last Friday.
“My son said that the same instigator and other learners came into his room and poured two 20 litre buckets of water over him. They then took his clothes out the cupboard and threw them on the floor. Everything got soaking wet during the incident,” she said.
The mother added that she called her son on Monday night to hear how he was doing.
“I did not know about the incident when I called him the Monday night. I could hear that he was not his old self and did not sound well. When I asked him what was wrong, he just said that he wasn’t feeling well. He later send me a text and said that he did not want to go back to school because he was not enjoying it and the children were giving him hell.
“I called him back and he was very vague and said we will talk later because there was one of the learners with him.”
She said her son revealed what happened to him the next day.
“The Tuesday he went to the doctor because he was feverish and sick. He was booked off sick and went to stay with my mother. When I called to hear how he was, he told me everything they did.”
“My child was humiliated in front of his peers as others performed despicable acts on him. As a mother, I took him to the school thinking he would be safe and finish his schooling. I never imagined something like this could happen to him.”
She said the school indicated that they would refund her money.
“The school said that my son will not be accepted well, should he return to the school . . . not that I will take him back.”
The Northern Cape Department of Education said they are appalled by the incident.
“It is with regret and great disappointment that the NCDOE has learnt of a horrible, inhumane incident at Landbou High School. MEC Cjiekella-Lecholo was short of words when informed about this incident,” the department’s spokesman Sydney Stander said.
“The MEC said this type of behaviour is unAfrican, inhumane and does not belong in our schooling system.”
Stander said the department would take action against those responsible.
“These boys will face the full might of our due process and the law because since 2010 we have been working consistently at this school to build a consciousness among our children and communities of one nation, one community.”
The police in the Northern Cape have confirmed the incident.
Police spokeswoman Major Dimakatso Mooi said on Thursday that the suspects are due to appear in court on Friday.
“Four boys, aged between 14 and 19, are to appear in the Jan Kempdorp Magistrate’s Court on charges of rape and common assault. It is alleged that on Sunday, at about 9.30pm, the suspects entered the victim’s room at the hostel. As part of an initiation process at the school, they stripped him naked, tied his hands and feet and laid him face down. The victim was allegedly molested and humiliated by the suspects,” said Mooi.
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