Durban school principal accused of forcing teachers to undress before touching and kissing

2019-04-09 08:47
South African Democratic Teachers Union leaders from Simunye Branch protest. (Musa Binda, GroundUp)

South African Democratic Teachers Union leaders from Simunye Branch protest. (Musa Binda, GroundUp)

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Teaching and learning was stopped on Monday at a primary school in a suburb of Durban, by protesting leaders of the Simunye branch of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu).

They demanded that the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education suspend and investigate the school principal for allegedly sexually abusing female teachers, according to GroundUp.

It is alleged that he summoned female teachers to his office, forcing them to undress before touching and kissing them.

Karabo Ramatholo of the Simunye branch said: "We only found out about the matter last Wednesday when one of the victimised teachers forwarded us an audio clip describing everything that the principal is doing to them."

Principal on the run

On Thursday, the Sadtu members demanded a meeting with the women staff at the school. While they met with the teachers, the principal told them he was diabetic and had to go out to get something to eat. He has not returned to the school, she said.

Ramatholo said teachers told them the principal would first show his victims photos of other teachers who had previously stripped for him. They say the abuse has been going on for several years. Teachers made anonymous reports to the district but nothing happened.

"That's why we decided to act … We are going to follow through until we see justice," said Ramatholo.

GroundUp tried the principal's cellphone but it has been on voicemail.

District official Themba Mthembu, who went to the school to address the protesters, said MEC for Education Mthandeni Dlungwana had been notified and would visit the school on Tuesday.

"The principal was supposed to be suspended before schools reopened last week. We are yet to investigate why it never happened," said Mthembu.

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Read more on:    sadtu  |  durban  |  education
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