SA schools to take Stop Rape pledge

Millions of school pupils across SA will on Friday take the Stop Rape pledge.

Deputy Education Minister Enver Surty, Minister Angie Motshekga and WC MEC Donald Grant at the Strandfontein Secondary School for the the Stop Rape Pledge. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga lead a special assembly at Strandfontein Secondary School on Friday morning as part of the nationwide Stop Rape campaign.

The initiative is a partnership between government and Lead SA.

More than 10 million pupils participated in the pledge and were given lessons about rape and sexual crimes.

Principals' were urged to hold special assemblies to raise awareness about the scourge.

Motshekga said the countries collective rage over high levels of gender based violence should translate into tangible action.

On Thursday, President Jacob Zuma launched the campaign.

He said the country needed to build a more caring society where the rights of all are respected.

The department's Panyaza Lesufi said its important pupils are taught why sexual violence is wrong.

"If we don't expose learners to this information we're hiding something from them that is happening in their day-to-day lives. We have to stand up and fight against rape."

Lesufi said the department would also provide councillors for pupils who want to speak out against this crime.

Children are often the victims of sexual violence.

Last week, a two-year-old girl was raped in Tzaneen, Limpopo while a 13-year-old Randburg girl was raped five times allegedly by her pastor.

BREDASDORP FIGHTS THE SCOURGE

Meanwhile, the primary school attended by slain teenager Anene Booysen, said it would fully support the Stop Rape campaign.

"We want a better youth for the future so we're behind the pledge 100 percent," said De Heide Primary School teacher Lucy Bell.

Two De Heide Primary School boys who spoke with Eyewitness News vowed to always treat girls as equals.

"We must care for women, we must love and not hurt them."

"They are special, they are girls and they are lovely."

Booysen's rape and murder shocked both the country and the world, highlighting shockingly high levels of violence against women and children.

The 17-year-old teen was discovered at a construction site near her home by security guards badly beaten and mutilated.

She later died in hospital.

A12-year-old girl from Bredasdorp said after Booysen's murder, she no longer felt safe in the town.

"I don't walk alone, I also walk in a group and if I must walk alone I always have a boy walking with me."

Statistics have shown a woman is raped approximately every four minutes in South Africa.

NOTE: To sign the Stop Rape Pledge, click here.