Cape Town - The parents of three young girls, who were allegedly raped inside a Somali-owned tuck shop, protested outside a school on Tuesday, to have a 12-year-old boy whom they claim was part of the attacks, removed from the grounds.
The boy is the grandson of the owner of the house where the tuck shop used to be located in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain.
The girls, aged 11 and 12, are classmates of the boy, and have refused to go to school while he is there.
The girls had told police the boy lured them to the shop and also raped them.
They said they were attacked a total of six times, and were paid R200 and given luxuries while being sexually groomed.
The Western Cape Education Department confirmed the boy has been removed from the school following the protest.
Two weeks ago the community and family of the victims protested in front of the boy’s house.
Police arrived on the scene and removed the boy for his own safety.
He was moved to a place of safety and was never arrested or charged.
On Tuesday parents of the victims protested in the rain at the school, chanting and shouting: “Rapist, come out!”
They were angry that the boy was back at school and allowed to write exams in the same classroom as their daughters.
The mom of the 11-year-old girl says she is afraid to go to school and doesn’t want to write exams.
“She says he stares at her and that she asked him what he is looking at,” says the mother.
“The detective came to the principal and said his name isn’t in the statements, but we as parents gave the statements and his name is in there.”
The principal addressed the parents and said he can’t legally forbid the boy from coming to school.
“This needs to be sorted out with the detective,” he says.
Jessica Shelver of the WCED says the boy would not be allowed to write exams.
“Our officials are dealing with the matter as sensitively as possible. SAPS has reportedly indicated that there is no evidence against the alleged perpetrator. The school has requested that the learner stay at home as a precaution while the matter is investigated thoroughly,” Shelver says.
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, says the Somali suspect is still at large.
“The suspect has left the area and his current whereabouts unknown. The investigations continues,” he says.
Asked if the 12-year-old boy has been charged with rape or any other crime, Van Wyk would only say: “The facts are misconstrued.”