South African National Parks (SANParks) has confirmed, with « deep regret and sadness », that the organisation was made aware of an alleged incident of sexual assault at the Skukuza Living Quarters involving a minor recently.
The South African Police Services (SAPS) in Skukuza have confirmed having registered a complaint and have transferred the docket to Arconhoek for further handling. According to the SAPS docket, the incident was reported on 27 August 2022 by the mother of the alleged victim.
A doctor examined the female minor and handed the findings over to the police for further investigation. SANParks has not had sight of the medical report and requests the public to respect the rights of the alleged victim and her family as well as the space to deal with the matter.
“The organisation would like to put it on record that it deplores any act of harassment and abuse against women and children. This appalling act must be condemned in the strongest of terms. SANParks is extremely concerned about how such an incident could have taken place on their property. It a sensitive matter and we are still investigating the exact circumstances under which the alleged sexual assault took place.” Managing Executive of KNP Gareth Coleman stated.
The Human Capital Management Division in the Park has arranged counselling for both the mother and the alleged girl victim which is ongoing.
“We are also sensitively looking at the issues raised by the SANParks Women’s Forum in a memorandum handed to management on 08 September in their march against Gender Based Violence. The memorandum makes a series of recommendations for immediate action; which have been shared with the SANParks Board and the Minister” said Coleman.