A 15-year-old schoolgirl and two boys — who allegedly raped her at Jules High school — were charged with statutory rape in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
“Advocate Menzi Simelane came to the conclusion that both the two minor suspects and the girl who had been complainant…should be charged with contravention of the sexual offences and related matters act,” the National Prosecuting Authority said in a statement.
Spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the act read that consensual sex with a minor was still a prosecutable offence.
A new law in the Child Justice Act stated that where sex occurred between people under the age of 16, arrests for both parties could be made for statutory rape.
The two boys, aged 14 and 16, were arrested on November 8 after allegedly raping the girl at her school in Jeppestown on November 4. They allegedly filmed the incident on their cellphones, which was later shown to prosecutors as evidence.
“Prosecutors had earlier concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the two minor suspects with rape and requested further investigations to be conducted while also considering other possible charges,” Mhaga said.
“On November 11, the Senior Public Prosecutor and the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions had a lengthy consultation with the girl and possible witnesses,” he said.
It was after this consultation as well as an analysis of the facts and the overall circumstances of this case, that all three were charged, he said.
The three appeared in court on Wednesday where a preliminary inquiry was held in terms of the Child Justice Act.
The inquiry was postponed to Thursday for the girl and December 1 for the two boys.
They were released into the custody of their parents until their next appearance. — Sapa