Durban teacher held for child porn

IOL news handcuffs file jul12 .

Durban - A prominent Durban drama teacher who has taught at a string of top KwaZulu-Natal high schools – and directed or performed in numerous drama productions – has been arrested for sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.

The 48-year-old man, who has taught at private and top state schools in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, is alleged to have recruited young boys to make pornographic movies.

He was arrested on Tuesday and will appear in court on Thursday.

Police spokesman Jay Naicker said the alleged crimes were committed from June to this month.

The teacher is employed at a renowned Durban high school.

Principals of schools where he worked – in drama departments or temporary administration positions – were stunned at the charges.

Although the schools cannot be named at this stage, he is known to have worked at at least six since the early 2000s.

Some principals did not want to comment, citing the fact that he had not worked at the school recently, or that the case was in court.

But others reported not having had any suspicions while he worked at their schools.

He was described as having a “very good teaching reputation in the drama world” and being a “world-class” teacher.

In addition to assisting with drama productions and taking on locum drama teaching positions, he also undertook exam moderation tasks and filled temporary administration posts.

One principal said: “He is highly regarded as an administrator, teacher and examiner of dramatic arts. This news will come as a shock to the drama community. He has been doing freelance work this year and has been available as a locum teacher to schools on a temporary basis.”

A drama teacher who worked with him previously said: “Good grief. I’ve never heard anything about this before.”

Department of Education spokesman Muzi Mahlambi, who also knows the teacher, said he was “disappointed”. However, the department “would not tolerate” such behaviour from any teacher.

“If these allegations are found to be true, then there is no place in education for this person. We will also do our own investigation.”

The teacher is well known in the local theatre industry, with his productions receiving praise. Some young, rising stars have paid tribute to his impact on their careers.

Although he did not know the details of this case, South African Council of Educators spokesman Themba Ndlovu said it was unfortunate that such a highly regarded teacher had been accused of this.

Recent statistics released by the Department of Education revealed that KZN had the highest number of complaints from schoolchildren of sexual abuse by teachers in the past three years.

Of 82 sexual abuse complaints to the South African Council of Educators for 2013-14, 23 were from this province.

The Mercury


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