Seven kids accused of sexual attack on woman

The 29-year-old Athlone woman was able to identify six of her attackers.

Western Cape Social Development MEC Albert Fritz. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - There's been an increase in youth criminality at childcare facilities, the Western Cape Social Development Department said on Monday.

This follows the arrest of seven minors accused of a sexual attack on a 29-year-old woman in Athlone.

Western Cape Social Development MEC Albert Fritz says the attack took place about two weeks ago.

The victim was found lying next to a canal in the area.

Fritz says he's noticed a strong link between a rise in youth criminality and gangsterism among children.

It's been reported the woman was able to point out six of her attackers.

Four suspects are just 11-years-old.

Fritz says because of the serious nature of the crime, he's unable to divulge too much information.

"There is a very strong link between youth criminality and gangsterism. It's indicative of how our youth and childcare centres are filling up."

Fritz adds this case is a cause for major concern.

He says while the seven teenagers may have committed a serious crime, they may not necessarily face jail time.

"For all we know, they may have already been diverted because they're very young."

Fritz explains if this is the case, the minors will continue to be monitored and will have to commit to behavioural programmes.

He says police are investigating the matter.

A decision on whether or not rape charges will be filed is expected later this week.