Durban - A Nquthu teacher accused of filming himself having sex with several pupils has maintained his innocence, strongly denying his alleged misdeeds.
A lawyer acting for the suspect has since indicated that the sex acts caught on camera were not with minor learners but between "people of age".
With police investigating a case of statutory rape, the identity of the teacher has been withheld to avoid identifying potential victims.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said on Wednesday the case was still under investigation and that no arrest has been made. "We appeal to the community to give us information about his whereabouts," he said.
Graphic footage allegedly showing a teacher having sex with a pupil was reported to the department of education last week.
The suspected teacher was immediately suspended. KwaZulu-Natal department of education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said that the teacher not reported for duty at the school since.
An alleged victim reportedly made an attempt on her own life at the weekend.
'No basis for allegation'
Bruce Macgregor, an attorney acting for the teacher, wrote to News24 on Tuesday.
"We note that these media reports are clearly not based on any independent investigations conducted by the media concerned and further, that our client has perpetrated these acts is reported as fact in circumstances where you have no basis for making this allegation."
Macgregor wrote that the teacher claims that the sex videos show him and previous partners who are of age.
"We are instructed that Mr **** denies having sexual relationships with minor learners and strongly disputes the existence of such video clips and points out the video clips relate to videos of himself and previous sexual partners who were at the time majors and certainly not accordingly minor learners.
"Your publications are defamatory of our client in the extreme and have served to inflame an already inherently volatile situation which also poses a danger to our client's safety. In this regard this mischievous reporting has resulted in vigilantes burning down the cottage in which our client was staying which resulted in all his possessions being burnt," he wrote.
Macgregor also disputed the assertion by the police that his client was on the run.
Parliament condemns incident
"It was confirmed with the SAPS today that no warrant had been circulated," said Macgregor.
He reserved the teacher's rights to institute a damages claim.
On Monday, Parliament's portfolio committee on basic education condemned the alleged actions of the teacher.
Committee spokesperson Nomalungelo Gina decried the incident.
"This is unacceptable. Teachers are in a position of trust and power. They should not be abusing this power by engaging in sexual acts with learners who are vulnerable."
Gina commended the MEC for education in KwaZulu-Natal for the "swift and very progressive action" of laying criminal charges of statutory rape against the alleged perpetrator.