Were more pupils abused at Soweto's AB Xuma Primary School?
The Gauteng Education Department on Wednesday tried to determine whether there were any more learners from the AB Xuma Primary School who may have fallen prey to a police forensic investigator‚ alleged to have abused two learners at the school.
The officer had been deployed to the school to investigate and prepare the children for a court case as they were alleged to have been part of a group of more than 80 pupils who were sexually assaulted by a security guard at the school last year.
"The incident occurred on Monday when the investigator visited the victims at the school to prepare for the court appearance. It is alleged that the investigator sexually molested the two grade 3 learners aged seven and eight years old‚" said department spokesman Steve Mabona.
A psycho-social team had been deployed to the school on Wednesday.
"They are assisting other learners because this forensic investigator had interacted with more than the two learners‚" said Mabona.
Meanwhile the two victims had since been taken out of the school.
"The learners had not come back to school because their parents felt they may not be ready to come back but we have advised that they come back to school‚" said Mabona.
The department said it had learnt of the latest sexual assault case earlier this week and said it was "dismayed‚ saddened and disappointed" by the incident.
"The children have now become victims of sexual assault twice by different people‚" Mabona said in a statement.
The incident had since been escalated to the Family and Child Services and the officer had since been withdrawn from the case.
Mabona said a sexual assault case had been opened against him at the Orlando police station.
Education MEC‚ Panyaza Lesufi called for the harshest action against the accused.
"A person entrusted with protecting children has violated their trust and that of their parents. This man should meet the full might of the law‚" Lesufi said.
"It is unfortunate and regrettable that this incident occurred to the very same learners who were previous victims of the school patroller‚ in the hands of someone entrusted to ensure their safety‚" he added.
TimesLIVE could not immediately confirm whether the accused had appeared in court.
The case against the school patroller‚ arrested for the first case‚ is set down for trial for next month.