Schoolgirl rape still under investigation

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pretoria - Police and prosecutors are working closely to bring those responsible for the alleged rape of a Johannesburg schoolgirl to book.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Nonhlanhla Mazibuko said her department would ensure that justice was done.

"We are determined to see this case through and ensure that justice is dispensed. This is crucial to demonstrate to communities that our Criminal Justice System is capable of punishing those who wrong society," she added.

A 15-year-old schoolgirl was reportedly gang raped by schoolboys, after apparently being given a date rape drug by the boys. The incident took place during school hours at Jules High School in Johannesburg last week.

Police later arrested two Grade 9 boys but they were later released.

Mazibuko dismissed reports that the charges against the boys were dropped or that the investigation had been halted.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Mthunzi Mhaga, explained that when prosecutors received the case docket, they concluded that there was insufficient evidence. As a result, the matter could not be placed on the court roll. The boys were then released.

"Prosecutors referred the matter back to police to get more statements and investigate the matter further," he added.

Mhaga said the incident was still being investigated by police and the prosecutors were working closely with them.

Mazibuko said police and prosecutors were committed to putting together a prosecutable, winnable case.

She also appealed to the media not to publish photographs of the victim or sensationalise the story.

The considerable trauma and violence to which the teenager had been subjected required that she, her fellow pupils and family be treated with the necessary sensitivity, Mazibuko added.