Sadtu launches campaign against sex pest teachers

2011-05-05 00:00

IN the past three years 106 cases of teachers who sexually molested young girls in schools have been reported to the KZN Education Department.

Of these, 94 were found guilty and dismissed.

The department’s directorate of labour relations is dealing with 19 such cases. However, the scourge is a long-standing one.

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), the biggest teacher union in the province, has decided it is time to stand up to it.

Sadtu chairperson in the Durban South region, Mabutho Cele, said the union has approached the Education Department with the idea of conducting a campaign appealing to male teachers who sleep with, fondle and have relationships with their pupils.

“We thought it was important for us to be proactive to avoid having to deal with such cases.

“It’s something that is still in its inception stages, but it is something we want to be sustainable,” Cele told The Witness.

The Umlazi district made headlines in 2009 when five teachers from Makhumbuza High School were investigated for allegedly using money and alcohol to buy sex from schoolgirls. Three of the teachers were later found not guilty, while charges were dropped against another.

Cele said the fact that the campaign targeted the Umlazi district in no way means that it has the highest prevalence of school sex pests in the province. He estimated that three such cases have been dealt with in the region since last year.

Speaking on the matter at the launch of My Life My Future Campaign on Tuesday, MEC Senzo Mchunu said no teacher is young enough to have a romantic relationship with a schoolgirl.

“If you feel that you are still young then go back to school.

“But we have to remove this scourge of teachers who sexually molest young girls in schools. There are plenty of young girls who are out of school and who look even better because they can afford to do their hair,” Mchunu said.

In 2009 the South African Council for Educators decided to name and shame all teacher sex offenders who had been taken off its books. This also means that potential employers could gain access to this information.

Sadtu chairperson Mabutho Cele

we propose a campaign to proactively deal with teachers who sleep with, fondle and have relationships with their pupils.

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