Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi addressed learners of a Soweto school after allegations that a Grade 8 girl was raped by three fellow learners. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - Gauteng Education member of the executive committee (MEC) Panyaza Lesufi on Tuesday addressed learners of Fons Luminis Secondary School in Diepkloof, Soweto, after allegations that a Grade 8 girl was raped by three fellow learners while attending a school induction/orientation camp in De Deur at the weekend.

"This unfortunate incident was reported at the local police station and the investigation continues. The alleged perpetrators have been suspended from school," the department said in a statement.

"Our Psycho Social Team is currently at the school counselling all Grade 8 learners, and they visited the victim at home this morning to provide counselling."

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Lesufi took to social media website Twitter to express disgust at the incident and offer support for the girl.

"We are disgusted. Our thoughts are with the girl. We will provide all the support and care. As for the boys," he tweeted.

According to the Citizen, the annual induction programme was held to orientate the grade 8 pupils to understand the culture of the school. During his visit to the school, Lesufi highlighted how officials were made aware of the alleged rape and said that the school held an emergency student governing body meeting on Monday, where it was decided that the three learners implicated in the alleged rape of a 14-year-old would be suspended.

According to the report, the alleged perpetrators are all 13 years old, and a disciplinary hearing against the pupils will be held on March 13.

The alleged rape was discovered by another child who went into the room at the time of the incident.

“He specifically wanted to see one of the three boys. In that instance, the other [boy] said [he] then witnessed this activity taking place, that was completely unacceptable,” Lesufi was quoted as saying.

The newspaper reported that the parents of the three alleged rapists claimed their children were innocent during interview sessions, but that the three pupils were currently on suspension.

African News Agency (ANA)