Mpumalanga teacher fired for being in sexual relationship with Grade 12 pupil

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A teacher was dismissed for having a sexual relationship with a pupil.
A teacher was dismissed for having a sexual relationship with a pupil.
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  • The Education Labour Relations Council has found a Mpumalanga teacher guilty of misconduct for being in a sexual relationship with a Grade 12 pupil.
  • Ncamiso Nhlanhla Nxumalo was fired with immediate effect.
  • He was also found to be unsuitable to work with children.

The Education Labour Relations Council has dismissed a Mpumalanga teacher for being in a sexual relationship with a Grade 12 pupil.

Ncamiso Nhlanhla Nxumalo was charged with misconduct after he had an "unwanted relationship" with the pupil he was teaching.

Nxumalo from Marhagi Senior Secondary School pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Testifying before the council, the pupil's mother said her daughter went missing on her birthday in October 2021.

She was at a store to buy her daughter a birthday cake when she went missing.

By 20:00, the teenager was still not at home.

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"She [the mother] called X's (pupil) friends who told her that they did not know the whereabouts of X, but that X was in love with the employee [Nxumalo]," arbitrator V Madula said in his findings.

The mother then called the teacher who said he did not know where her daughter was.

It later emerged Nxumalo and the pupil were in Witbank buying car parts.

The mother testified she beat up the pupil when she returned at 22:00.

A meeting was scheduled with the school governing body on 4 October 2021, but Nxumalo said he could not attend because he was in KwaZulu-Natal.

But the mother said, to her surprise, she met Nxumalo when he arrived at the school as she was leaving.

She added she used to see Nxumalo give her daughter a lift to school but did not know he was a teacher. The pupil's brother also saw her getting out of the teacher's car.

The mother testified her daughter would often disappear to buy bread at the local taxi rank but would return without it. She said Nxumalo was also on her daughter's cellphone profile picture. However, she thought it was a picture of a pastor. The mother added her daughter would come home with scripts to mark, telling her they were from her friend who is a teacher.

At one stage, the woman said, Nxumalo came to their house to apologise but did not give any reasons for his apology.

She also testified there were days when her daughter came home with food, and she would say her friends had bought it.

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In her testimony, the mother said her daughter refused to testify before the council because she was still in love with Nxumalo.

In response, he argued he picked up the pupil only once when gave her a lift to school.

Nxumalo also said there was a time when he saw her pupil on the road with friends and gave them a lift.

He argued he had a teacher-pupil relationship with the teenager and not a sexual one. 

Informed

Nxumalo denied having travelled to Witbank with the pupil, saying he dropped her off in front of her house and was only informed via SMS by his colleagues that she was missing.

He did not respond to the message because it made him angry. 

Nxumalo then sent the teenager a message, and she informed him she was at home. He accused her mother of praying he would lose everything, saying he had an accident in January 2022, and he thought it was because of her.

In his ruling, Madula said he deduced there could have been a sexual or love relationship between the employee and the pupil based on the testimony presented before him. 

"The employee's evidence was an afterthought. The interest of the learner should prevail. Sexual or love relationship between an educator and a learner is not acceptable in a school environment. Educators play a role of a parent at school. They must ensure that learners are educated."


Nxumalo was found guilty of misconduct and fired with immediate effect.

He was also found to be unsuitable to work with children in terms of Section 120(4) of the Children's Act, 38 of 2005.

The ruling was handed down on 12 November 2022.


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