Durban - More than 200 pupils stoned a teacher’s car and house in uMlazi on Tuesday after accusing him of paedophilia.
The pupils were enraged because a Grade 11 boy hanged himself last week after he was allegedly raped by the teacher and other boys in his class had teased him.
The boy, who did not leave a suicide note, was buried on Saturday.
It was alleged that the boy had told other teachers about the attack, but they failed to help him.
When the Daily News arrived at the teacher’s home, pupils were chanting outside and police were protecting the house – which had broken windows and doors and a vandalised satellite dish.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said the 46-year-old teacher was attacked by pupils who stoned his car.
“Three suspects were arrested and are due to appear in the uMlazi Magistrate’s Court soon.
“The motive of the attack is unknown at this stage. Police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property.”
The KwaZulu-Natal chairman of the National Association of School Governing Bodies, Reginald Chiliza, was shocked to learn about the allegations, which he said tarnished the teaching profession.
“I blame the department and unions for not coming up with decisive measures to curb paedophilia at schools. I appeal to them to stand up against these sordid acts,” said Chiliza.
However, the provincial Department of Education denied the allegations.
Their spokesman, Muzi Mahlambi, said officials had visited the school on Tuesday morning after reading weekend press reports about the alleged rape and suicide.
“When our investigation team went to the school, pupils walked out of the premises and attacked the teacher’s house. We appeal to learners to desist from criminal activities and let the department complete its investigation,” he said.
“If there is proof, people should bring (it), because for now it is just allegations.”
But National Teachers Union deputy president, Allen Thompson, accused Chiliza of making reckless and irresponsible statements, which he said incited pupils to violence.
“We do not have evidence since there were no formal charges laid against the teacher.
“We do not encourage any member of the public to make such a statement,” he said.
“We (believe) that the teacher is innocent until proven guilty.”
Thompson said a union delegation would be sent to the school, and the union would make recommendations to the department.