More than 230% increase in sex abuse cases by teachers over past 5 years - SA Council of Educators

Reports of sexual abuse by teachers rose by more than 230% since 2014, the South African Council of Educators (SACE) reportedly told Parliament.

On Wednesday, the SACE presented its 2018/2019 report to Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Basic Education.

According to Eyewitness News, most of the offenders were aged between 45 and 54, the report read, and 93 cases of sexual misconduct were dealt with by the SACE in the year under review.

According to IOL, the Western Cape was responsible for 200 of the 765 complaints against teachers.

SACE chief executive officer Ella Mokgalane reportedly said 636 files were opened. Some teachers were accused of more than one contravention.

Most incidents were committed by mathematics and sciences teachers, she said, as they "spend more time with learners, even for afternoon classes".

The most common transgression in the Western Cape was corporal punishment and assault, with 173 cases, followed by improper conduct.

In a recent case, a teacher-in-training at a school in Orania - a whites-only town in the Northern Cape – was accused of statutory rape for allegedly having sex with a minor.

Carel Boshoff, chairperson of the board of the Volkskool Orania, confirmed to News24 on Wednesday that the school principal had found out about the allegations when the police's Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit visited the school on September 16 to investigate a case of child molestation against a student teacher.

He said the science teacher, whose name is known to News24, was in Johannesburg at the time, completing practical studies.

Following a meeting of the management committee, the teacher was informed via WhatsApp to contact the principal when he returned to the town.

A letter was prepared and given to the teacher on September 21, informing him that he was not allowed on the school premises and could not have any contact with pupils.

He was arrested on September 23.

- Compiled by Tammy Petersen

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