Midrand rape: Expert says the rape-accused boys are crying out for help

A woman standing in a courtroom

Dr Shaheda Omar, director of the Teddy Bear Clinic says the boys’ actions mirror the rot in our society. File Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

Published Dec 22, 2023


The Randburg Magistrate’s Court has withdrawn charges against one of three teenage boys accused of gang-raping a 15-year-old girl in Midrand, north of Johannesburg on Sunday.

The matter was postponed to Friday next week for further investigations after the rape-accused teenagers appeared in the children’s section of the Randburg Magistrate’s Court. The three boys are aged 17.

The girl had attended a party when the gang-rape happened.

Speaking to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, Dr Shaheda Omar director at the Teddy Bear Clinic said the boys’ actions mirror the rot in South African society.

Two boys are in custody after they allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl. File Picture

“These victimisers are probably victims themselves. So looking at the bigger picture, understanding that we cannot condone this act and that one cannot justify it, but the reality is that they are crying out for help,” she said.

“They are mirroring what is actually happening in society. If we look, we have just finished the 16 day of activism against the scourge of domestic violence and femicide, so where are these children getting it from? They are a microcosm of the macrocosm, reflecting what is happening and what they are surrounded by.”

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Department of Education said psychosocial support will be provided to the accused teenagers who are learners, and the victim.

“We understand the case against one learner was withdrawn, so they only now have two (suspects) that remain in custody. One was released,” Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said speaking to journalists.

“We will start with the process of psycho-support. You can imagine one has spent a night in incarceration and the following day their case is withdrawn.”

Gauteng Department spokesperson Steve Mabona. File Picture: Timothy Bernard/ Independent Newspapers

“You can imagine what one is going through. That is why, as a department, we will not take sides. We will always support our children.”

Earlier this year, IOL reported that Police Minister Bheki Cele said while there had been a decrease in sexual offences reported, it remained a concern that there were 10,512 rape victims in the first three months of this year.

Police Minister Bheki Cele. File Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Cele was speaking at a press briefing in Parliament after the police ministry tabled the fourth quarter crime statistics for the 2022/2023 financial year before the portfolio committee for police.

The fourth quarter covers the period from January to March 2023.

Rape cases saw a 2.8% decrease compared to the same period last year. According to the stats, 4,768 rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or at the home of the perpetrator.

About 1,843 people were sexually assaulted, a 14.9% decrease compared to last year.

However, attempted sexual offences increased by 21.2%, with 663 victims.

Pupils and political parties in Mamelodi picketing in Mamelodi, under the banner of #NotInMyNameSA, demanding justice for rape victims. File Picture: Bongani Shilubane/ Independent Newspapers