MEC shocked by 'child-on-child rape incident'

A 7-year-old boy was allegedly raped by his 10-year-old neighbour in Khayelitsha last week.

Khayelitsha Township. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Social Development Department says two Khayelitsha children have been placed in the care of social workers, following an alleged rape incident.

A seven-year-old boy was reportedly sexually assaulted by his neighbour, a 10-year-old boy, last Friday.

The two young boys are believed to have gone to a nearby small lake in the evening to relieve themselves as there aren't any toilets available in their informal settlement, when the incident allegedly took place.

MEC Albert Fritz says, "We are once again very shocked at this specific incident. Our specific services in this regard will go out and do what we can to look at the issue of intervention."

Last week, seven minors were arrested for an alleged sexual attack on a 29-year-old woman in Athlone.

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

The woman was able to point out six of her attackers. Four suspects are just 11-years-old.

'CHILD ON CHILD RAPE NOT UNCOMMON'

As the 16 Days of Activism on No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign kicks off today, the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children says 'child on child' rape around the country is not uncommon.

The centre's director Shaheema McLeod says there is a definite spike in child on child sexual assault cases.

She explains that children often act out what they witness in their community, adding specific interventions are necessary.

McLeod attributes fear, denial, shame and further abuse from the perpetrator as some of the main reasons why many cases go unreported.

Some statistics indicate there are at least 400 child abuse cases in South Africa every month.