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Protesters picket at Ceres court over sexual assault case involving minors

The demonstration was led by non-profit human rights organisation, the Triangle Project.

A gavel. Picture: SAPS.

CAPE TOWN - Protesters staged a picket on Monday at the Ceres Magistrate Court, where four minors appeared for the sexual assault of four fellow learners.

The demonstration was led by non-profit human rights organisation the Triangle Project.

It’s alleged the four boys were assaulted by two other pupils in the school’s library last year, while another two youths allegedly observed the attack. The victims were in grades four and five at the time.

The Triangle Project claims the victims received counselling on only two occasions and the Western Cape Education Department had done very little to assist the victims and their families.

“Every child that is raped in this way bears huge scares and these children are extremely traumatised [and] they should have been seen weekly by a therapist,” the organisation's Sharon Cox said.

When Eyewitness News spoke to the Western Cape Education Department’s Jessica Shelver earlier this year, she said a social worker had immediately been deployed to assist the victims.

Three of them had apparently been moved to a different school, but at the time it was believed the fourth still attended the school where the crime took place.

Cox disagreed, though claiming one of the alleged perpetrators and three of the victims were still at the school.

“The parents are angry that the education department hasn’t taken no notice and the school is allowed to progress as normal, and that one of the perpetrators is in the same school with their children. Parents fear for their children’s safety. The fear is that it will happen again, these children are bullied and teased, so all of them suffered great psychological trauma,” she said.

The Education Department had not yet responded to the claims.

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