DA wants possible statutory rape probe against teacher

2015-11-11 11:41

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Pietermaritzburg - The DA in Zululand wants Phongolo police to investigate a possible statutory rape case against a school teacher there who allegedly dated and lived with one of his pupils.

Zululand East Constituency leader Hlanganani Gumbi said there were claims that the high school teacher had numerous affairs with underage pupils, inflated poor marks and even drank with pupils at a local tavern.

“This is one such example of … a situation that has been allowed to proliferate in the absence of any such Child Protection Register or Sexual Offences Register that would prohibit teachers guilty of sexual misconduct from interacting with minors,” said Gumbi.

“Earlier this year the school’s principal reported the matter to senior management and the School Governing Body, which subsequently informed the local education department ward manager and the Department of Labour.”

Gumbi said the teacher was suspended in August and had applied for a transfer as he said he no longer felt safe in Phongolo.

Gumbi said he had been surprised initially when pupils vandalised property in protest against the suspension of the teacher, but learnt later that it was because he inflated poor marks.

He called for a sex offenders register by the Education Department to prevent offenders from entering the system again. “This is precisely the problem with the absence of any such credible register. Teachers found guilty of misconduct in this regard can simply move schools or provinces and continue to work with pupils despite them being implicated in sexual misconduct with, what are often, minors,” he said.

Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said the department was not aware of the case. “We have asked the Zululand District to give us a report in this regard. These are serious allegations and the department will treat them as such. If these are proven to be true, the department will not hesitate to act in the interest of pupils,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rape

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