February 24, 2024

Grade 12 learners suspended over sexual assault allegations at school hostel

Nico Malan High School where the alleged happened

Six grade 12 learners have been suspended from school on allegations of sexually assaulting four grade 8 learners. The leaners are from the Nico Malan High School in Humansdorp under the Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape.


It's alleged that the incident took place at the school hostel where the 17-year-old boys forced the girls aged 14 to watch porn and masturbated in front of them last month. The Department of Education spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima confirmed the incident. "Six Grade 12 learners from Nico Malan High has been suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct involving grade 8 learners. The alleged misconduct took place at the school hostel. According to the report obtained from the Sarah Baartman education district, the school was alerted of this incident by one of the victims' parents," Mtima said.


Mtima said that the preliminary report states that, the alleged incident happened twice, although the first incident was not reported by the two victims. "The second incident had four victims, two of the four were repeated victims of the same six boys. All the six boys are currently suspended from the hostel pending the outcome of the internal investigation. Additionally, the matter was also reported to the South African Police Services and their Child and Family Support (CFC) unit, which has initiated a formal investigation too," Mtima said. He added that currently, all victims have been receiving psychosocial support which include debriefing and counselling from the department's Education Social Support Services (ESSS) which was activated on the same day of receiving the Rapid Incident Report from the school. Eastern Cape Department of Education MEC, Fundile Gade condemns the matter and called upon the strengthening of security at the hostel, while protecting the privacy of the learners. Mtima said that different teams have been dispatched to the school to create awareness amongst learners and educators about their rights, sexuality and peers support groups are being established to ensure victims are free to report such incidents. "This is to ensure that, each learner's dignity is observed and restored," Mtima said.

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