The Acting Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), Ms Nomasonto Mazibuko sends her heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and fellow learners of Bafana Sithole. The Commission is saddened by Sithole’s suicide after he was reportedly falsely accused of rape by a fellow learner at Hoërskool Kriel in Mpumalanga.
False rape accusations will undo the progressive work done to eliminate gender-based violence (GBV) and empower its survivors. Unfortunate incidents of this nature will further cause harm to the reality of rape and other sexual crimes in the country.
The Commission is imploring the law enforcement to ensure that justice takes it course. We are also aware that the Department of Education has indicated they will determine the course of action to be undertaken as soon as it receives a report from the investigation team, while the police have opened an inquest into the cause of death of the pupil.
We call on South Africans to join hands and raise awareness against GBV during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children. The Commission also encourages men and boys to open/file cases of any form of abuse, harassment and or bullying against them. The CGE will monitor both the investigation being conducted by the department and the police inquest.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.