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NHLANGANO – An 11-year-old pupil from a school around Hlatikhulu was gang raped by four men travelling in a black BMW vehicle.

Hlatikhulu is in the Shiselweni Region. The school will not be mentioned to protect the identity of the survivor from discrimination. It was gathered from her mother *Nomsa that the minor was headed to school for her morning classes when the incident happened.  It was said that she was alone when walking to school. According to Nomsa, the minor narrated that she saw the black BMW vehicle stopping next to her which was when four men who had covered their faces alighted and grabbed her.

It was said that after raping her, they left her and she headed back home where she reported the matter. It was alleged that one of the perpetrators had a tattoo, according to the child’s description.  The criminals are said to have further tried to pursue another minor who was able to escape.  Nomsa’s child was taken to the police station, where the matter was reported and the minor was later driven to hospital for medical examination.

In an interview with Swatini Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) Director Nonhlanhla Dlamini, she shared that she was disappointed and shocked by the incident. She said she was disappointed by what the country was becoming.  She said looking at how the minor was grabbed; no one was safe in the country. She requested members of the public to assist in locating the perpetrators. She said they would assist the child with counselling or at least make sure she was taken care of as she was traumatised.

Dlamini said they did not know whose child was supposed to experience such trauma for the country to take the matter of gender-based violence seriously and declare it a national disaster that needed serious attention. She urged government to look at such matters differently. Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the incident. She requested members of the public who may have information on the black BMW to call the police.