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Education department slated over rape investigation

Sapa

The father of a boy who claimed he was raped during a school rugby tour has slammed the Western Cape education department's investigation.

An anti-rape demonstration. (AFP)

The Cape Times reported on Monday that the department had issued a warning to Edgemead High School on initiation practices and ruled that supervision on the rugby tour had been “far from adequate”.

It had found no evidence to suggest a sexual assault took place. The 16-year-old boy’s father said the school had failed to communicate with him on vital matters in the case, including that the boys involved had been suspended.

“The only conclusion I can draw is that the internal investigation conducted by the governing body was flawed and deliberately biased,” he was quoted as saying.

Department spokesperson Paddy Atwell said they found pupils had engaged in initiation practices such as shaving hair off. He said some team members consumed alcohol, despite a warning by their coach.

The attack, which took place on March 17, was filmed on cellphones and circulated. The boy was allegedly raped with a broom handle and a banana after playing a rugby match against a local school while camping at Velddrif on the West Coast.

He had sent his mom a “please call me” from his cellphone after the older boys apparently wanted to shave his head. The next night, after he had gone to sleep, he was allegedly attacked in his bed and raped. The attackers also shaved his eyebrows, squirted toothpaste up his nose and drew a phallic object on his forehead.

His parents laid a charge with the police, but the case was withdrawn after being reviewed by a prosecutor.

According to the report, the family had appointed lawyers to represent them should the case be re-opened when the National Prosecuting Authority completed a review of the docket.

The Criminal Law (Sexual and Related Matters) Amendment Bill, signed into law on December 14 2007, broadened the definition of rape to include forced anal penetration and penetration with objects, not just body parts. – Sapa

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