The Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi speaks at Khensani Primary School in Soshanguve. Picture: Rapula Moatshe
The Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi speaks at Khensani Primary School in Soshanguve. Picture: Rapula Moatshe

Panyaza Lesufi removes 5 workers at Soshanguve school where girl, 6, was allegedly raped

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Aug 12, 2021

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Pretoria - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has removed from duty five contracted workers at Khensani Primary School in Soshanguve Block H, where a 6-year-old learner was allegedly raped last week.

Lesufi said the five would be off-duty until they were cleared by experts reports, including the police's identity parades for the alleged victim to identify the suspect implicated in the crime.

He announced steps taken against the individuals during his visit to the school.

This followed reports that a Grade 1 learner was allegedly rape on August 2 on the school premises.

The learner was allegedly raped just after she had finished relieving herself when the alleged perpetrator ambushed her inside the toilet.

Among the five individuals - four were general assistants and the other one was a volunteer (cleaner).

"The problem with the volunteer is that ever since the incident happened he has not reported for duty. We have requested the police to follow up that matter," Lesufi said.

He revealed that he was furnished with a preliminary report, but "found many things in that report not clear but creating more confusion".

"On the basis of that I felt that I should personally come here, visit the crime scene and satisfy myself with the developments," he said.

According to the report he received, the alleged incident happened on Monday, the learner came to school on Tuesday and nothing was reported until Wednesday.

"I indeed visited the crime scene and I can confirm that there are things that are still not clear," Lesufi said.

He said he had requested the police to move with speed in terms of doing their investigation and bringing the alleged perpetrator to book.

"They have told me that they are at a point where they will do an identity parade because where we stand as the department we want to be expert-driven," Lesufi said.

He added that his department was awaiting three expert reports, which would include the social workers report to confirm some of the information at the department's disposal, the finalisation of the medical team report and the psycho-social report.

He said the department wanted to be extra careful with the case to guard against losing it due to shoddy investigation and reporting.

"We had a case in Soweto where a security guard was alleged to have sexually harassed close to 25 learners. We lost that case because of the shoddy investigation and the shoddy reporting and the courts could not agree with us.

“Up until today I still believe that we failed those children. That is why we want to be extra careful, follow procedure to the letter," he said.

He also went to visit the family of the victim to gather more information and ascertain claims that the family wanted their child removed from the school for safety reasons.

In an interview with the Pretoria News this week, the girl's mother said: “This is heartbreaking. I feel like taking my own life when I think about what happened to my daughter. I ask myself why did the perpetrator choose to rape a minor and not an elder like me.”

Pretoria News

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