A Botrivier primary school teacher has been sacked after being found guilty of misconduct for allegedly sexually assaulting a Grade 6 pupil.
A Botrivier primary school teacher has been sacked after being found guilty of misconduct for allegedly sexually assaulting a Grade 6 pupil.

Botrivier teacher axed over sexual misconduct

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Sep 9, 2021

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CAPE TOWN -A Botrivier primary school teacher has been sacked after being found guilty of misconduct for allegedly sexually assaulting a Grade 6 pupil.

Logan Klaasen was also found to be unsuitable to ever work again with children in terms of the Children’s Act.

He allegedly touched the learner’s thighs, breasts and around her body, while whispering in her ears, despite the pupil asking him to stop and that she wanted to go home. He would often ask her to stay behind after school while others went home.

Klaasen pleaded not guilty and denied the accusations before the Education Labour Relations Council.

The pupil had testified before the council that Klaasen would find excuses to ensure that she stayed late at school, claiming she needed to finish her work.

When other pupils left, Klaasen would then close and lock the door, the council heard.

The pupil said the teacher would start touching her and she had never given him any permission to do that.

Arbitrator Gail McEwan said a register of the first quarter of 2019 was shown to the pupil and it was pointed out that in the first quarter she had been absent on 28 days.

It was put to the pupil that Klaasen kept her after school so that she could catch up on her work.

But the pupil explained she got her work from another friend and disagreed that she was never alone in the classroom with Klaasen.

In response, Klaasen argued that he was a chess coach, players were present on a daily basis and he was never alone with the pupil.

He handled the discipline of pupils who misbehaved and kept some pupils after school to enable them to catch up on the lessons, he claimed.

“Learners stay behind if they do not finish the work or have been absent.”

He said the pupil was often absent and he kept her after school to catch up on her work.

“Breaks were never used to address learners as the breaks are short and they need to have their break as is their constitutional right,” said Klaasen.

He denied that he had ever been alone with her or touched her breasts, thighs and around the middle section of her body.

He said he wanted to talk to the pupil about her absenteeism, which had resulted in her being behind in the classwork.

But Josana Johnson, a social worker, testified that she held three sessions with the pupil in which she claimed that Klaasen was touching her upper legs and breasts.

Johnson said the pupil had not been in a very good space at the time, had nightmares after the incident and had been consistent with her version of events.

The pupil was emotional and thought she had done something wrong.

McEwan said Klaasen had no valid reason to keep the pupil behind after school.

If the pupil was avoiding talking to him, then Klaasen had other means to address any perceived problems but “chose to persist in his futile attempts” to get the pupil alone “so they could talk”, said McEwan.

The pupil was consistent in her evidence and without any hesitation she was very firm in her answers, both while leading her evidence and again when being cross-examined, the commissioner noted in her ruling.

“(The pupil), from her demeanour whilst giving her evidence, showed her distaste of what had happened to her. This too is confirmed by the evidence of Johnson that (the pupil) was having nightmares, had been repulsed about what had happened and believed that perhaps she had done something wrong.”

Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the department had a policy of zero tolerance with regard to sexual assault cases and all such allegations were regarded in a serious light.

“We have not, to date, had any communication on the intention to take the matter on review.”

Klaasen had the right to challenge the matter in court.

Cape Times

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