School accused of hiding sex abuse info

It’s alleged the teenager sexually assaulted at least eight young girls at an Orange Farm school.

FILE. An Orange Farm school is under pressure with allegations that a 13-year-old boy assaulted younger girls. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A woman with close links to a primary school in Orange Farm on Friday accused the school of trying to cover up information about alleged sexual abuse carried out by a 13-year-old boy.

It's alleged the teenager, who is still in grade three, sexually assaulted at least eight young girls on school premises.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous due to her close links to the school, says reports in the media on Friday implied the incidents occurred in the bathrooms.

However, she claims the alleged abuse was carried out in a classroom and in full view of other pupils whenever the teacher left the room.

"The girls already knew it as a routine," she says, listing off a disturbing number of acts allegedly committed by the boy.

"The whole class witnessed this; the boys in the class, the girls in the class."

She says the boy also brought condoms to the school and coerced other boys in his class to participate in assaulting the girls.

But she says this information is being covered up by authorities.

"The school is coaching the parents to say it happened in the toilets and not in the classroom. Parents are completely traumatised but are being urged to say nothing," she says.

"I am shocked. I don't know what to say. The only reason the school is intervening now is because the police came."

DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATING

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) says support and counselling is being provided to affected learners.

"Today, we took them for medical examinations and of course, the results will form part of our overall investigation," spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane said.

She also says the accused pupil will be suspended and face disciplinary action.

Sekhonyane also asked for anyone with more information to come forward.

"I can assure you that the department views this matter in a very serious light and there will be no cover up."

At the same time, the department says they will evaluate whether the boy is suffering from mental difficulties.

The school has yet to respond to the allegations.