A VICTORIA Park High School matric pupil has been arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl at the Port Elizabeth school.
The incident allegedly took place in the boys' changing room during the morning break on Friday.
The girl's parents, who cannot be named to protect her identity, reported the matter to the police on Monday.
The 18-year-old suspect can also not be named until he appears in court and has formally pleaded to the charge.
According to detectives linked to the investigation, the boy claimed the sex was consensual – which the law defines as statutory rape as he is classified as an adult – while the girl alleges it was rape as she did not consent to the act.
This is the second sex-related scandal at the school in the past year.
Last year, a teacher was found not guilty in an internal disciplinary hearing by the Education Department of having sex with a 16-year-old pupil.
Police spokesman Captain Stanley Jarvis confirmed yesterday that last week's alleged rape had been reported to the police by the girl's parents.
The girl, who is in Grade 8, had informed one of her teachers after school on Monday, he said.
"The teacher alerted the principal, who called the girl's parents and the police. A criminal case was then opened by the minor's parents and the accused was arrested on Monday."
Jarvis said the girl had admitted to detectives that she had previously been in a relationship with the boy, but claimed it had ended months ago.
"According to her, she was talking to a friend at the entrance to the school bathrooms during morning break time," he said.
"She claims the accused approached her and struck up a conversation, prompting her friend to leave.
"After she left, the girl alleges she was forced into the men's bathroom where the sexual act took place.
"The matter is under investigation and is a priority due to the nature of the alleged offence and age of the victim," Jarvis said.
"The rape kit has been sent for forensic testing and detectives are awaiting the results."
The suspect, who has been in custody since his arrest, was yesterday questioned by detectives from the specialist violence, child protection and sexual offences unit.
"The matter will also be taken to the state prosecutors for a decision to be made on how to proceed," Jarvis said.
Victoria Park High principal Michael Vermaak said after he was alerted to the alleged rape, the girl's parents and the authorities were notified.
"All the correct procedures were followed and the relevant parties contacted," he said.
"We take the well-being of all the scholars very seriously and try our utmost to prevent any incidents from happening."
Vermaak said prefects and teachers were on duty during the break when the alleged rape took place.
"We always have teachers and prefects on duty during break times, but obviously it is extremely difficult for them to be everywhere," he said.
"We try our best to keep everyone safe and have various measures in place to counter such incidents as best as possible."
Vermaak said the merits of the case were sub judice and under police investigation.
The boy is due to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court today.