Africa

South Africa fury at inaction over school gang-rape

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The failure of a South African school to respond to an alleged gang-rape of a pupil on school grounds has angered rights groups and ministers.

The alleged attack, during school hours last Thursday, was reportedly filmed by three teenage boys on their phones.

The Commission for Gender Equality said the school was more worried about upsetting the boys during exams than the rights of the alleged victim.

Earlier, the children's minister said she was shocked by the inaction.

"The Children's Act requires all people in positions of authority who suspect that child abuse may be taking place to report such incidents, and this includes teachers," the South African Press Association quotes Lulu Xingwana, minister for women, children and persons with disabilities, as saying.

South Africa has one of the highest incidences of rape in the world.

'Hilarious'

The alleged attack happened in a school east of Johannesburg on Thursday. The school girl was allegedly drugged with a spiked drink before the rape.

The failure of the school authorities to respond to the allegations was widely reported in the media and has sparked outrage.

"The three boys were not arrested as they alleged that they did not want to traumatise the school during the exams," CGE spokesman Javu Baloyi said in a statement.

He said the clip of the rape was shown to teachers, who reportedly found it "hilarious".

The local education authority has said the school could not comment while investigations into the incident were continuing.

Collins Chabane, a minister in the presidency, urged the police to treat the case as a priority.

"The sexual and physical abuse of young people, and in particular children, should not be tolerated in our society, let alone in our schools," Mr Chabane said in a statement.

Police said two boys aged 14 and 16 were arrested on Monday in connection with the incident.

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