Gauteng teacher accused of drugging, raping Grade 8 pupil found not guilty by labour council

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A Gauteng school teacher accused of drugging and raping a Grade 8 pupil has been found not guilty and ordered to return to work.
A Gauteng school teacher accused of drugging and raping a Grade 8 pupil has been found not guilty and ordered to return to work.
  • A Langlaagte Technical School teacher accused of drugging and raping a Grade 8 pupil has been found not guilty by the Education Labour Relations Council.
  • The teacher was arrested and spent more than 30 days in jail but charges against him were withdrawn.
  • The Education Labour Relations Council ordered him to return to work.

A Gauteng school teacher accused of drugging and raping a Grade 8 pupil at his office has been found not guilty and ordered to return to work.

On a balance of probabilities, the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) said it was not proven that the natural science teacher at Langlaagte Technical School had raped the pupil.

According to the ELRC, the pupil had accused Emanuel Bruce Barden of drugging and raping her in September 2021.

She said that on the day of the alleged incident, her class teacher had sent her to the office to fetch a class register.

On her way back, she met Barden in the corridor, who then asked her to follow him to his office.

The pupil said when they entered Barden's office, he offered her a cold drink in a cup, which she drank.

She alleged that she felt drowsy after drinking it.

The pupil said Barden took her to his office table, tied a brown tape to her mouth and hands, and raped her. 

READ | Free State teacher fired for 'hugging, kissing' a pupil at school

She said the teacher threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the incident.

The pupil said she only told her friend at school that she had been raped. The following day when her mother asked "why she was asleep and looked drunk", she told her what had happened.

A criminal case was opened against the teacher, who spent more than a month in prison before the charges against him were withdrawn.

The pupil was taken to hospital, where it was apparently confirmed that she had been raped.

During his testimony before the labour council, Barden pleaded not guilty. He told the council that he had never dated any pupils and viewed them as children.

He further testified that he shared an office with another teacher and found it "bizarre" that he would be accused of raping the pupil in his office, which was also used by someone else.

The teacher said when he was arrested, he went through a "period of shock" and had hoped the pupil would retract the allegations.

In his ruling, the ELRC's Monde Boyce said the pupil gave contradictory versions.

Boyce said while the results might have concluded that the pupil was raped, there was "no basis that exist[s] on which I can conclude that it is the employee that raped [the pupil]".

Boyce added:

I should mention, albeit in passing, that if the rape incident did occur and if the employee was indeed the culprit, there would be no debate as to the sanction that should be imposed on the employee. Dismissal, which would be the harshest of sanctions, would be warranted, and I would not hesitate to impose same if evidence pointed to the employee's guilt.

"This would be primarily because teachers stand in the place of parents and while learners are at school, teachers' responsibility is that of looking after the welfare of learners, and any unbecoming conduct by a teacher or a teacher engaging in inappropriate conduct with learners should not only be frowned upon, but such a teacher should be harshly dealt [with], and such a teacher would further... be prevented from ever teaching.

"This would happen even in circumstances where he was criminally found not guilty, or the charge of rape withdrawn by the prosecuting authority."

Boyce found Barden not guilty and ordered that he be allowed to resume his duties.

Your opinion matters to us. Be part of the conversation and tell us what you think about this story in the comments section.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1288 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
51% - 6422 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
35% - 4471 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 433 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.