Grade 12

Grade 12 learner accused of sexual assault. Photo:

Eastern Cape matric learners suspended over ‘sexual misconduct’

The Department said a preliminary report revealed that the school was first alerted to the incident by one of the victims’ parents.

Grade 12

Grade 12 learner accused of sexual assault. Photo:

The Eastern Cape Department of Education has suspended six Grade 12 learners from Nico Malan High School following allegations of sexual misconduct involving fellow Grade 8 learners.

The department said according to a preliminary report obtained from the Sarah Baartman education district, the school was alerted to the incident by one of the victims’ parents. 

Learners suspended pending outcome of the investigation

Department spokesperson Mali Mtima said the report states that the alleged incident happened twice at the school’s hostel, although the first incident was not reported by the two victims.

“The second incident had four victims, two of the four were repeated victims of the same six boys. All the six boys are currently suspended from the hostel pending the outcome of the internal investigation,” he said. 

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Mtima said the victims were receiving counselling. 

“Currently, all victims have been receiving psychosocial support which include debriefing and counselling from the department’s Education Social Support Services (ESSS), which was activated on the same day of receiving the Rapid Incident Report from the school,” he said. 

Department providing support victims

Eastern Cape Department of Education MEC Fundile Gade condemned the incident, adding that the department will ensure the victims get the support they deserve. 

“As the investigation is underway, we shall ensure all the victims get the support they deserve to prepare them emotionally for reintegration after these sessions. 

Furthermore, different teams have been dispatched to the school to create awareness amongst learners and educators about their rights, sexuality and peers support groups are being established to ensure victims are free to report such incidents. 

This is to ensure that each learners’ dignity is observed and restored,” he said.

The matter was also reported to the police. 

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said: “The Humansdorp Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit have opened an enquiry relating to the allegations.”