IN FULL | Pupil attacked in Linkside

Police investigators and Atlas Security officers at the scene
Picture: Werner Hills

Girl ambushed in street on way to school and left for dead with plastic bag over her head

A teenage schoolgirl was ambushed, dragged into bushes and left for dead – with a plastic bag over her head – while walking to Linkside High School yesterday morning.

The attack happened less than a kilometre from the school shortly after 8am. The girl had been running late for class.

Police are still investigating whether she was raped.

The girl was admitted to Greenacres Hospital.

Her age and school grade are not being released to protect her identity.

Police spokesman Captain Johan Rheeder said the girl was ambushed while walking on the road in Carnoustie Crescent, Linkside, en route to school.

Rheeder said she was found semi-conscious, lying on a gravel road – near bushes – between the Port Elizabeth Golf Club course and Carnoustie Crescent, about 800m from the school.

“It appears the girl was walking on the road when she was attacked from behind. One suspect pulled her into the bushes near a gravel road.

“At this stage, we cannot confirm whether she was raped as we are awaiting the rape test kit.

“During the incident, she briefly lost consciousness and cannot really recall what happened,” he said.

Rheeder said a schoolboy, who was also late for school and was walking past, saw the girl lying on the gravel road.

“He ran to the school, where staff were alerted.

“Staff ran to the girl’s aid – a teacher rushed to the scene in a vehicle and put her into the car before rushing her to hospital,” he said.

According to police officials, who declined to be named, the girl’s head was covered with a black plastic packet during the attack.

“He [assailant] demanded her cellphone. She said she did not have one and he pulled her off the road and attacked her.

“While she was on the ground he kicked her until she lost consciousness,” an officer said.

“She was left for dead with the black bag over her head.”

Rheeder said nothing had been taken during the attack.

Picture: Werner Hills

By midday, police detectives and forensic investigators had arrived on the scene.

Asked about the delay in securing the crime scene, Rheeder said detectives first had to consult with the girl before going to the scene.

He said the girl was receiving trauma counselling.

At the intersection of Carnoustie Crescent and Wychwood Avenue, near to where the attack happened, Atlas Security CCTV cameras are erected.

Atlas Security operations director Mike Burmeister said the incident happened out of view of the cameras.

Linkside High School principal Henry Graham said: “At the time, I was in a meeting and was alerted to the incident.

“I did go to visit her in hospital and the police were still with her.

“We are devastated and concerned about this.”

He said they had warned pupils not to cut across the golf course, due to safety issues.

“We regularly warn the children not to go through the golf course. So much so, that the municipality even erected a fence at the one location so they could not get through,” he said.

“For the safety of the children, we have spoken to Atlas [Security] to patrol the area while doing their rounds.”

The case has been handed over to the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit for investigation.

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