Pupil saved from attacker

Picture: 123RF/ Andreypopov

A 15-year-old girl escaped the clutches of a would-be rapist after a brave heroine intervened to stop her assailant.

The girl was abducted by her assailant while making her way to town after being turned away from school because of the national Cosatu strike. The grade 10 Nkwanca High School pupil was forcibly taken to a shack by the man, who then tried to rape her.

It was only the act of a brave woman who confronted the attacker that the girl escaped unharmed. The trauma of the event, however, led to the child having seizures.

The Rep reporters found the girl at the stall of Lumka Kopeshe, after she had apparently made her way there to wait for transport.

“She is from Gqibenya, Lady Frere. She came here because they sometimes meet their transport here. Her transport dropped her off at school as usual, but because of the strike she left early,” said Kopeshe.

The girl was apparently taken by the man while passing the New Town informal settlement. In the incident, she escaped rape for the second time after running away from another assailant in a separate attack.

According to Kopeshe the woman who saved the girl was on her way to work. She heard the girl screaming and proceeded to barge into the shack, confronting the would-be rapist. The knife-wielding man then left them both after a tussle, and only managed to take the girl’s phone.

Nkwanca principal, Nkosinathi Mbutuma, expressed shock and dismay over the attack.

“What happened is very unfortunate. At the school we usually have morning and weekend classes, but none of the pupils has ever reported being attacked. The school is next to an informal settlement and many of them use the route every day,” said Mbutuma.

On why pupils had gone to school on Wednesday when a national strike was anticipated, the principal said arrangements for pupil attendance during the Covid-19 lockdown  had affected communication. He said the strike action had been confirmed to the school on Tuesday.

“Our pupils alternate as we cannot have them all at school at the same time. The grade 10 pupils were to attend on Wednesday and that is why some of them could not be informed in time,” said Mbutuma.

At the time of going to print, police spokesperson captain Namhla Mdleleni said no arrests had yet been made.

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