19 teachers guilty of sex with pupils in Mpumalanga

Mbombela - Nineteen Mpumalanga teachers have been found guilty of having sex with pupils.

Another eight teachers were found guilty of sexual harassment during the same period, and six more were found guilty of sexual assault.

Provincial education department spokesperson Jasper Zwane said the period was between 2012 and 2015 as well as incidents in the current 2015/16 financial year begun in April. Further cases were being investigated for the current year.

He said sanctions differed from case to case.

"[Teachers] may face a fine not exceeding one month's salary; suspension without pay for a period not exceeding three months; demotion or a combination of sanctions and dismissal," he said.

He said of the cases reported and handled in the current year, one person had been dismissed as a sanction pending an appeal process. Another person was fined R5 000, while one unsubstantiated case had to be closed. Three others were pending investigations.

Zwane said the department had created awareness programmes for their employees.

"These help them know and understand such acts of misconduct," he said.

The department conducted workshops on the code of conduct, code of professional ethics and the disciplinary code.

"The purpose was for advocacy and awareness meant for employees to know and understand the implications, so they can refrain from engaging in such acts of misconduct," Zwane said.

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