School head jailed for rape

2011-01-26 00:00

A SCHOOL principal was yesterday jailed for 18 years for raping a 14-year-old orphan who was a prefect at his school.

Georgedale Primary School principal Nhlanhla Victor Mbongwe (48) was sentenced in the Camperdown Regional Court. He was convicted last September.

Mbongwe was arrested in April 2009 for raping the grade 7 pupil, who lived with her 66-year-old grandmother. After he was granted R3 000 bail, he continued to work as principal at the school for more than a month. The Education Department told The Witness at the time that it had not been made aware of the charges.

The teen, whose parents died when she was only six months old, testified in camera that she had been tasked by Mbongwe, since she was a prefect, to dismiss the rest of the children and report to him after a school field trip.

In his office, Mbongwe closed the door and pinned the child to his desk. The girl said Mbongwe dropped his pants before pulling her panties off and raping her while he covered her mouth with his hand.

Mbongwe’s supporters were sombre yesterday. According to court staff, at previous appearances they dominated the corridors and passed rude remarks about the girl’s family.

Mbongwe, who had previously appeared confident in court, kept his eyes on the floor, showing no emotions as the sentence was read out.

Pronouncing his sentence, Magistrate M.P. Mpanza described Mbongwe as arrogant and without remorse.

Mpanza said rape is prevalent in the area.

“I can say that 98% of the cases tried in this court are rape cases. Ninety-eight percent of those offences involve children under the age of 15 years.”

He described the rape as the culmination of a process that had started with sexual advances. This made this case more serious than others since it was premeditated, said Mpanza.

“It is unfortunate that the accused has shown no remorse. He is adamant that he is innocent. But he knows he is not. God knows he is not. The problem is that the principal is too arrogant. That is what this court has observed. He will never say he is sorry. He sticks with the story … he can never be corrected. Everybody is wrong and he is right. That kind of behaviour is very dangerous.”

Mbongwe’s attorney, Judy Reddy, said her client maintains his innocence, which he hopes will be proved in an appeal. She applied for bail, which was set at R8 000 pending his appeal.

Education Department spokesperson Mbali Thusi said the department welcomes the conviction and sentence.

“Schools are places that must be a safe haven for children for teaching and learning to take place and not a place where they are exposed to abuse. The principal … will also be reported to the SA Council for Educators.”

Thusi said the process of finding a new principal will begin soon.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.