The deputy principal of Disa Primary School in Bonteheuwel has been suspended following allegations that he molested several Grade 7 girls. Picture: Jack Lestrade/Daily Voice
Cape Town - The deputy principal of Disa Primary School in Bonteheuwel has been suspended following allegations that he molested several Grade 7 girls.

Police spokesperson Siyabulela Malo confirmed that a sexual assault case had been opened.

“No further information can be disclosed at this stage,” he said.

A parent of one of the girls said her child told her that the deputy principal “stroked” her face and put his hand on her leg, “moving her skirt up”.

“She (the girl) ran out and the deputy principal tried stopping her, asking what is wrong.

“The girl reported it and was told by the principal not to tell her parents as he would do so, but the mother was only informed about it after a few days.”

The parent said “the principal and a social worker were called in to speak to the girls involved, without the parents’ knowledge at the time”.

“One of the parents laid a case with the police against the deputy principal, but thus far only a case number was sent to the mother, and nothing else.

“The school organised an HR representative, which was very helpful and supportive at first,” said the parent.

She said an external investigator was called in and the three girls were interviewed two weeks ago.

“The parents had to get the results last week, but till this day no one has spoken to the parents regarding the results.”

Another parent said: “The girls involved are afraid to attend school because they do not know when or if the deputy principal will be returning.”

She said they feared, not only for the three girls that spoke up, but also for the safety of every girl attending the school. “We know nothing about this man. We don’t know where he previously worked or why he left.”

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the department was aware of the allegations against the deputy principal.

Hammond said the deputy principal was SGB-appointed. “The SGB have temporarily suspended the accused. They have appointed an independent investigator and are currently finalising the investigation.”

She said the WCED had arranged counselling for the learners concerned and were supporting the school.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said: “This is disgusting that the very place where our children should feel safe and secure is the very place where predators like this individual lurk.

He said if found guilty, “I am instructing that he is dealt with in the most severe manner allowed by the law in this country”, adding: “That, in itself, is not even enough.”

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Cape Argus