Axed Soweto teacher harassed principal, teachers - MEC

2016-11-15 21:47
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi addresses learners at the Paul Mosaka Primary School in Pimville, Soweto the morning after their principal was stabbed by a former teacher at the school. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi addresses learners at the Paul Mosaka Primary School in Pimville, Soweto the morning after their principal was stabbed by a former teacher at the school. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - The axed teacher who stabbed a Soweto school principal multiple times had been harassing her and her staff for months, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Tuesday.

He had been sending the Paul Mosaka Primary School principal text messages and showing up at the school after he was fired last year.

“The school gave me a chilling statement about the individual and that he has been harassing the principal for quite some time. Not only the principal but the entire school community,” Lesufi said.

This happened after parents complained that the man was not teaching their children appropriately. 

The district office then examined his qualifications and found they were fraudulent. He was given six months to provide original documents of his qualifications but refused.

“That’s when we instituted disciplinary processes and it was during that period that things turned nasty,” Lesufi said.

On Monday morning, the teacher arrived at the school in Pimville, Soweto, and allegedly waited for the principal. When she arrived, he allegedly threw stones at her car. 

“As she opened her car door, he pulled her out of her car and stabbed her several times. Some of the bystanders started shouting and screaming,” police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela said at the time.

Police caught him later and took him to the Kliptown police station. He was expected to appear in court soon on charges of attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

The woman was in a critical condition in hospital. 

It was understood that the man had been demanding that the principal sign forms which would allow him to return to work, but she kept referring him to the district office.

Opposed to bail

The department would help police ensure that the man’s bail application was not successful, Lesufi said.

“We need to protect him from himself, and protect him from society as well.

“I also don’t think it is advisable, for the sanity of these young ones, to know that this particular person is outside there,” Lesufi said.

He said pupils and staff needed support from the department, including counselling and tighter security.

“We are strengthening the security at the gate and we’ve taken over the running of the school until we are sure that the situation is stabilised.”

Lesufi said the fact that the man had managed to secure a job and work undetected for a period of time was embarrassing for the department.

“Those are the things that, to be quite frank, embarrass some of us. The reality is that, I am told, when you don’t have an eye to check for fraudulent documents, you will not be in the position to pick it up.”

He said this problem was slowly being dealt within Gauteng. Systems were already in place to pick up bogus teachers.

The SA Council of Education said in a statement earlier this month that it had detected more than 20 cases of people teaching with fraudulent qualifications.

It was working with universities, education departments and the South African Qualifications Authority to ensure that the qualifications of all teachers were authentic.

Read more on:    education  |  crime  |  johannesburg

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