Move on teachers welcomed

2009-04-30 00:00

THE SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has welcomed the suspension of five teachers at an Umlazi high school who are under investigation for sexual misconduct against girl pupils.

According to media reports, the teachers allegedly used alcohol and money to lure their victims, some as young as 15, into sexual relationships with them.

The teachers’ activities were exposed when about 20 girls visited the Umlazi district director’s offices with the news that these sex acts were a frequent occurrence in the school’s science laboratory.

They said girls were given alcohol and paid R100 for having sex.

The news comes within weeks of the South African Council for Educators (SACE) saying it will name and shame all teacher sex offenders who have been struck off its roll.

SACE CEO Rej Brijraj said the allegations are extremely disturbing and the council will be carrying out urgent investigations alongside the Education Department to ensure a speedy disciplinary process.

According to Brijraj, 31 teachers are on the sex offender list from April last year to March this year around the country.

He could not say how many are from KZN, although he said no province is without sex offending teachers.

In a press statement released yesterday, Sadtu called for speedy investigation and disciplinary action by the department, which it says has the power to dismiss teachers found guilty of sexual abuse.

The union has called for all members with evidence of sexual abuse in this or any other case to come forward and blow the whistle.

“This is the moral and legal duty of every teacher.”

Despite conflicting reports in the media in previous weeks, Sadtu’s media officer, Jon Lewis, said the union is fully behind SACE’s name and shame policy, adding that the union is eager for such offenders to be taken to task.

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