CREDIT: File photo

Bloemfontein — Five men have been arrested for allegedly raping a ten-year-old boy, Free State police said in a statement on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mamello Mokhuoane said the men were arrested on Monday.

One of the suspects is 21 years old while the rest of them are minors aged between 14 and 16 years old, Mokhuoane said.

The minors were later released into the custody of their parents.

It is alleged that the boy was swimming with friends on Sunday, January 29, in a pond without clothes at around 4.30pm when they were approached by five unknown men wearing blankets and walking with dogs, Mokhuoane said.

Mokhuoane said the the boy’s friends managed to run away but the men caught up to the boy.

“They allegedly made the boy hold on to a pole whilst raping him. After the whole ordeal, the boy fled the scene and reported the matter,” said Mokhuoane.

The boy was taken to hospital and police were called to the scene.

Mokhuoane said the 21-year-old suspect will appear in the Welkom Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, while social workers plan to meet with the four minors as part of the investigation.