Alleged school paedophile continued to report for duty as victim list grew
A Soweto school reportedly first heard in February that one of its security guards was accused of molesting its pupils‚ but he continued to report for work.
The man was only arrested on Monday evening at his home. He is accused of molesting 54 pupils.
"When I went to open a case‚ police said they knew about it since February. The school had opened a case but I opened my own case because I saw the school was dragging their feet‚" an anonymous caller said on radio station SAFM on Thursday.
"We felt that they wanted to sweep the matter under the carpet for the school's reputation‚" she said.
She revealed that officials from the school had held interviews with the young girls without informing the parents.
"[My daughter] told me that [they were told] they shouldn't tell the parents until they send us newsletters‚" the woman said.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said an intensive investigation into the matter was under way.
He revealed that‚ while a grandparent of one pupil had laid an official complaint with the school in September‚ the school had only submitted a report on the incident to the department in October.
"We have already quarantined the school leadership. They are under heavy investigation. It is a serious omission on their side‚" said Lesufi.
"I visited the school yesterday and I got a report from the school leadership. An independent team has been appointed to verify the information we have received on the report‚" he added.
The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority said it was probing whether the accused was registered with them and would take the necessary action.
Lesufi‚ however‚ explained that it was the security department that was behind the screening of security officials deployed to schools.
He said a broader investigation has been instituted to see whether the man has previously been deployed to other schools and whether he was embroiled in any such allegations there.
"I must apologise to the parents. I am disgusted … Schools should be the safest place for our children‚" he said.