School principal removed following alleged molestation of grade R learners
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced he has removed the principal and management team of a Soweto primary school where 83 grade R learners were allegedly molested by a guard.
“This is necessitated by the seriousness of the allegations of sexual assault of about 54 learners‚ by a scholar patroller at the school‚ who was subsequently arrested on Monday‚ 09 October 2017‚” Lesufi said in the statement on Thursday afternoon.
The school has not been named to avoid identifying the children.
Initially‚ the number of learners allegedly molested was given as 54. However‚ the department said on Thursday afternoon it had been informed by officials sent to investigate that the number had risen to 83.
Lesufi said the man had appeared at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. He was remanded in police custody until next Wednesday.
The man was arrested on Monday night following complaints by parents that the children had reported they had alleged been sexually assaulted by the man.
The department would engage with the school governing body soon to establish reasons why it should not be dissolved‚ Lesufi said.
The department also said an independent body had been appointed to investigate all allegations levelled against the principal and her management.
A counselling process was conducted by a team made up of education department officials‚ health and social department officials and the Teddy Bear Clinic.
"We remain grateful to all stakeholders especially the Teddy Bear Clinic and our Psycho Social Support Services. I am grateful that the department has prioritised this matter and we will leave no stone unturned‚” Lesufi said.