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KZN teacher arrested in new sex scandal

Primary school boy said to have been victim of at least two sex assaults in KZN

04 February 2018 - 00:02 By PREGA GOVENDER and TANYA STEENKAMP

As public outrage mounted this week after sex videos and photographs involving a Gauteng principal went viral, a KwaZulu-Natal teacher was arrested at school for allegedly sexually assaulting a young boy.
The teacher, who is also a well-known priest in Dannhauser in northern KwaZulu-Natal, was arrested at a school in Newcastle on Wednesday.
His arrest follows at least two alleged sexual assaults on the boy, the first when he was a 12-year-old pupil at the Dannhauser Primary Full Service School in August 2016.
The other assault is alleged to have taken place in March last year when the boy visited the suspect at his house in Dannhauser."There was an investigation going on because of something but we were not told."
Another staff member said they were informed at a meeting that the teacher, who taught social sciences, had "left".
Meanwhile, videos and photographs that apparently show Gregory Fisch, the former headmaster of Reiger Park No2 Secondary School in Boksburg on Gauteng's East Rand, in compromising positions with a pupil and staff members have split the community.
In the videos and photos, which surfaced about two weeks ago, a man, believed to be Fisch, can be seen with a schoolgirl in her uniform and older women who are performing oral sex on him in his office.
Fisch could not be reached for comment and the acting principal at Reiger Park referred all queries to the provincial department of education.
Musi Kunene, who runs a lift club, said children at the school had no respect for Fisch.
"I think this guy was doing all this and he took the videos and uploaded them to his laptop and they stole the laptop," Kunene said.
"That's where these videos came out. They [some of the pupils] knew because some of them were blackmailing him."
Kunene said he had seen around 17 videos.
A staff member said: "He saw himself as a one-man show who had all the power. He would even threaten to spread lies about teachers."
In a social media post, Reiger Park community member Marlon McDonald said he did not believe the accusations against Fisch.
Said Duwayne Alexander, who matriculated at the school in 2003: "Before he came, there was a lot of chaos happening at the school but when he started we could see changes that were happening. We couldn't even think that anything like this would have happened."
Fisch told some parents that the photos and videos had been altered as part of a smear campaign against him.Reiger Park resident Mildred Ruiters said he had told her and other members of the community "some unbelievable story of how somebody plotted all this against him and he knows who it is".
Some community members said Fisch was not the only one at fault.
"It takes two hands to clap," said one mother, Shanon Ballakistan. "These are high school girls. Surely they know the difference between right and wrong."
Boipelo Kenosi, a former pupil, said in a Facebook post that the girls involved with Fisch had received special treatment.
Motsamai Mabuya, a representative of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union, said: "There could be more videos. This could be the tip of the iceberg."
Gauteng department of education spokesman Steve Mabona said two pupils appeared in the photos, one of whom had so far been identified.
He said suspension letters had been served on two teachers, an administrator and another school staffer who had been identified in the videos and photographs.
Mabona said the department was planning to rescind the principal's resignation so that he could be dismissed and deregistered from the South African Council for Educators.
Fisch resigned in October last year before the scandal broke and served his last day on January 15.
"The matter is with the legal division and a final decision is still pending," Mabona said.IN THE DOCK
The trial of former school counsellor Darren Goddard, who is accused of raping and sexually assaulting several boys in 2016, started in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg this week. Goddard, 32, who has denied guilt, faces 15 counts, including accessing and being in possession of child pornography and 13 counts of sexual assault and rape. The incidents allegedly took place between 2012 and 2016. The state started leading evidence this week.
The trial of the former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys’ High in Johannesburg, who is facing 160 charges including rape, sexual assault and attempted murder, is expected to continue in the middle of this year. The matter last came before the High Court in Johannesburg in November and was postponed to July 30. It was revealed last year that about 20 pupils had allegedly been sexually and physically abused by the 22-year-old assistant water polo coach.
The chairman of the school governing body, Nicholas Greyling, issued a statement late last month assuring parents that the school was continuing investigations into the sexual assault case. “We ask that the entire school community and public understand that we cannot share any further information about the case as it is sub judice.” Parents reportedly laid complaints as early as November 2016 about teachers who had been implicated in secondary victimisation of the pupils who were allegedly abused.—Prega Govender
govenderp@sundaytimes.co.za and steenkampt@sundaytimes.co.za..

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