Primary school teacher accused of sexually assaulting pupils is suspended
The Mpumalanga education department on Friday confirmed that it had suspended a 56-year-old teacher who is alleged to have sexually assaulted eight of his pupils.
Education spokesperson Jasper Zwane said the suspension letter had been served on Monday after the department learnt of the allegations.
“The department has established a team to investigate the authenticity of the allegations and another team to render counselling to the affected learners,” said Zwane.
“These teams are directed to treat this matter with the sensitivity and urgency it deserves.”
Zwane said they were encouraged by the police’s swift action against the suspect.
“The department views these allegations seriously and will ensure that justice is served,” Zwane said.
He would not immediately say how the department learnt of the alleged abuse.
Police said the teacher had exposed his pupils to porn before sexually assaulting them.
His alleged victims, seven boys and a girl, were allegedly all grade seven pupils, said Brig Leonard Hlathi.
“It is reported that the teacher had been violating the learners from March 2019 until he was exposed in September.
“He would allegedly call them over to his desk during class, show them pornographic videos as well as images and lure them individually to a storeroom to commit his evil deeds,” said Hlathi.
The teacher was arrested on Wednesday after a month-long investigation by police. He appeared in the Tonga Magistrate’s Court on Thursday where he was granted bail. His case has been postponed to January 2020.