School fires worker almost five years after sexual assault conviction

2013-03-12 15:01

A KwaZulu-Natal school employee has been fired, nearly five years after being convicted of sexually assaulting a primary school pupil.

This happened after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela intervened, her spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi said today.

Mongameli Gcwabaza was charged in 2008 and convicted in 2010.

After being charged, he was transferred from the school, in the Taylor’s Halt area near Pietermaritzburg, but was sent back there after receiving a five-year suspended sentence.

A parent, not related to the assaulted pupil, lodged a complaint with the Public Protector.

“Mongameli Gcwabaza pleaded guilty to charges based on his conviction late last month at a hearing that formed part of disciplinary proceedings instituted by the provincial department of education,” Masibi said.

“The sanction imposed was dismissal.”

Democratic Alliance spokesman Tom Stokes welcomed the dismissal.

“There is too little responsibility being accepted by middle management in the (education) department.”

Stokes said this failure resulted in no action having been taken when it should. He said the party had raised the alarm in January about the employee’s continued employment.

Comment could not immediately be obtained from the KwaZulu-Natal education department.

Masibi said the department had found itself in a predicament when the details on the charge sheet did not match those the department had recorded for Gcwabaza.

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