School teacher allegedly tried to rape pupil (12)

2010-05-14 00:00

A CASE of attempted rape has been opened against a male teacher at a village school near Pietermaritzburg, who allegedly attacked his 12-year-old pupil on Tuesday.

Parents and the school community were angry when the teacher, whose name is known to The Witness, reported for duty yesterday.

The matter was apparently reported by the principal to the school inspector on Tuesday, but the inspector did not arrive to speak to pa­rents until they closed the school down yesterday.

The emotional girl told the paper that she and a friend were called to bring the friend’s exercise books to their grade five teacher’s house, which is on the school property, on Tuesday before school.

The teacher, who was on sick leave at the time, then gave one of the books back to the other girl and sent her away, before calling the victim inside.

She said she asked why, but the teacher overpowered her, closing the door behind him, and dragging her into the bedroom.

“I was screaming and crying and my friends heard me and came looking for me,” the girl said in tears.

She said it is not the first time her teacher has tried to fondle her, and said she has reported his behaviour to the principal before.

Thula Zibula, speaking on behalf of the school governing body, said the teacher’s behaviour was shameful, but added that he found the Education Department’s response even more disgraceful.

“How can something this big be reported to a school inspector and he doesn’t even have the decency to come in and find out what was happening? … If they insist on keeping him at the school, we’ll take our kids and he can teach walls,” said Zibula.

He said a large number of parents took a day off from work on Wednesday hoping the inspector would address them. He didn’t arrive and they stayed off work again yesterday. The inspector finally arrived after 12.30 pm.

The girl’s 26-year-old mother said the teacher also taught her, and said she he had treated her in a similar way.

This was corroborated by other members of the community, who told the paper that, since Tuesday’s incident, many other children who are no longer at the school have come forward with similar stories.

The Education Department failed to respond to a query by The Witness regarding the issue and the inspector’s response .

The Democratic Alliance’s Sizwe Mchunu has called for a full investigation.

Police have confirmed the case. The Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit is investigating.

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