Gauteng committee to address school sexual violence

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has appointed a special provincial cabinet committee to determine the level of sexual violence in schools and to put measures in place to strengthen the safety of pupils.   

“We are perturbed and angered by these horrific crimes against our children which are committed in schools and in communities in general. The sexual abuse, molestation and rape of girl children follows the same trend as the violence, rape and killing of women in general and young in particular,” said the Premier.

The appointment of the special committee follows a high number of reported sexual abuse cases in Gauteng schools over the past two weeks, including that of 87 girl pupils at AB Xuma Primary School in Soweto. Alleged raped incidents were also reported in two other schools in the province.

The committee, which is made up of MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi, Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane and Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza will work with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on gender education in schools.

Over the next 10 days, the committee will meet with school principals, school governing bodies, station commanders, community policing forums and patrollers to strengthen safety measures at schools.

All 6 000 patrollers at schools will be vetted. Life Orientation teachers will be appointed as the first contact of reporting. Also, over 200 new vehicles will be handed over to South African Police Services (SAPS) to assist in their efforts.

Premier Makhura noted that gender-based violence and crimes against women and children required a combination of law enforcement, breaking the silence, victim empowerment and social mobilisation and gender awareness.

“Gender-based violence and crimes against women and children is a societal scourge based on patriarchy. It can only be eradicated through a comprehensive partnership between law enforcement agencies, communities and other decision-makers in society to promote gender equity and bring to book those who commit crimes against women and children,” said the Premier. - SAnews.gov.za

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