MEC Lesufi says Thuto-Lesedi Secondary School rape case was handled badly

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has met with management at the Thuto-Lesedi Secondary School in Vosloorus.

On Monday, the department confirmed it had suspended two matriculants from the school after they were implicated in the rape of a grade 9 pupil who was attacked on the school premises last month.

Lesufi says he has also met with the rape survivor and her parents.

The main priority is to protect the survivor and give the survivor all relevant support that she needs.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

He says while the boys were arrested, they have now been released.

The police arrested them but the family believes there is interference of the local police and this interference is on the basis that by the time it reached the courts the docket had been tampered with and the statements that were taken from the girl were also tampered with so the NPA was reluctant to proceed with the case.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

We established a disciplinary hearing today. We have given the SGB until Friday to give us their findings.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

Lesufi says the department is working with police and will take up the matter with the provincial commissioner's office.

He insists the case was badly handled by the school.

Our worry is that the school and the school community failed to provide relevant information to us at the appropriate moment. It is only this week that we got information and got enquiries from one of the national newspapers.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

We reintroduced new ways of reporting rape-related matters so for the school to behave the way that they behaved, I think they have let us down.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

We failed that learner, to be quite frank. Where heads need to roll, they will.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

We have to intervene and intervened decisively. We have commissioned a team to check who did what and who didn't do what so we can act decisively.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

The MEC says there are many other problems at the school - including issues of drugs and late coming.

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