Africa: The Limpopo MEC for the Department of Education, Polly Boshielo, has expressed shock at the rape of two girl learners aged eight and nine.

According to the SAPS, the Gogobole primary school learners from Gogobole village in Vhembe West Education District were walking home from school on 9 June 2022 when two unknown men wearing blue work suits grabbed and forcefully dragged them into the nearby bushes next to Chumbrys farm, where they both raped the girls and fled the scene.

The two traumatised learners managed to inform their guardians when they reached home, and the matter was reported to the police, where a case of two counts of rape has since been opened.

MEC Boshielo has joined the police in urging community members with information that may assist in the swift arrest of the suspects to come forward so that justice prevails in this matter.

“As a department, we strongly condemn this, and we are appalled by this incident. It is shocking that those who should be protecting learners are the ones who prey on them. All of us, working with the police, must leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the alleged perpetrators are arrested and brought to book without any delay. Learners deserve protection wherever they are, inside the school and outside the school”.

Social workers from both departments have been dispatched to provide psychosocial support to the affected parties. MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale has also condemned the attack on the children.

“These atrocious acts are a direct violation of the children’s rights, and we urge communities to work with the government in ensuring that children are protected and cared for at all times.

We urge anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects to contact the police for justice to prevail,” says MEC Rakgoale.