Western Cape teacher found guilty of 8 sexual misconduct charges, fired in his absence

accreditation
Teacher found guilty of 8 sexual misconduct charges. (iStock)
Teacher found guilty of 8 sexual misconduct charges. (iStock)
  • A Western Cape teacher was found guilty of eight charges of sexual misconduct.
  • The Education Labour Relations Council has recommended the teacher's dismissal.
  • He did not attend the hearing.

The Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) has found a Western Cape teacher guilty of eight charges of sexual misconduct and has recommended his dismissal.

In a ruling on 17 January, the council found that Zamani Edwin Nyaniso Diniso, a Grade 4 Mathematics teacher at a primary school in Plettenberg, had kissed and fondled 10 and 11-year-old pupils during the first quarter of 2022.

It was only in July that the pupils decided to come forward.

Diniso was suspended, pending the outcome of an inquiry.

During the inquiry, there was testimony from the school's acting principal, a fellow teacher, the head of the department (HOD) and nine pupils who were in Grade 4 at the school in 2022.

Diniso did not attend the hearing, but it proceeded in his absence.

READ | Former teacher at elite Cape Town boys' school faces sex crimes claims in SA, UK

The teacher testified that she was getting ready to teach the pupils when they told her they had something they wanted to speak to her about. They told her that Diniso hugged and kissed them and that he touched their buttocks.

The HOD testified that she was told Diniso would wheel his wheelchair over to pupils, put his hands between their legs, stroke their legs and buttocks and call them "babes" while they were working on the computer. When she questioned their male peers, the boys said they knew about it because the girls had talked about it.

The pupils later repeated their version to other staff members who were called to the classroom, including the principal.

When confronted, Diniso never denied the allegations but said there was nothing wrong with his actions "because some of the [pupils] did not get love from their homes, and they got love from him".

ALSO READ | Child sex ring trial: Psychologist recommends alleged victims don't testify in court with accused

He also said he loved children, and that they loved him because he was in a wheelchair, they were the same size as him and they felt sorry for him.

One pupil testified that Diniso kissed her on the mouth and touched her buttocks. She said she asked him to stop but that his behaviour continued "multiple times for a long time".

Another pupil told the hearing that Diniso promised to take her to a bed and breakfast in Cape Town "for a honeymoon".

It was also revealed at the hearing that acting principal received a call from someone at a prison who told her that Diniso had put out a hit on her and another teacher. The person told principal that he was supposed to have carried out the hit the previous week but did not have the heart to do it.

Police then contacted the person, who confirmed that he had made the call.

ALSO READ | Suspected child sex ring kingpin who faces over 730 charges expected to plead as trial begins

However, when they went to Diniso's house, he had moved.

Analysing the evidence, panellist Alta Reynold said there were no substantive motives for why the witnesses would fabricate their evidence and versions.

Reynold accepted that Diniso had a clean slate before the allegations were levelled against him.

But she added that his failure to attend the inquiry and his disappearance contributed to the negative inference she had drawn and the probability that he was guilty of the charges.

"In light of the best interests of the child being paramount, no other sanction than dismissal would, in any event, have been appropriate since the employee can, as a result of his conduct, no longer be entrusted with the emotional and physical safety and welfare of, in particular, female learners placed in his custody," Reynold said.


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
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 447 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 2489 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 501 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.22
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
21.32
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
18.75
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.24
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.5%
Platinum
1,004.39
+0.0%
Palladium
1,662.72
-0.3%
Gold
1,925.55
-0.2%
Silver
23.65
-1.1%
Brent Crude
87.47
+1.5%
Top 40
75,177
+0.9%
All Share
81,201
+0.9%
Resource 10
78,630
+0.5%
Industrial 25
104,430
+1.2%
Financial 15
16,290
+0.7%
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.

LEARN MORE