A Dr Nelson Nelson Mandela High School teacher in Crossroads, Nyanga, has been dismissed with immediate effect after being found guilty of misconduct for the alleged sexual assault of a former pupil.
Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) arbitrator Arthi Singh-Bhoopchand declared the teacher unsuitable to work with children and ordered the Department of Social Development be notified in writing.
She further instructed that the SA Council for Educators (Sace) revoke his certificate. It was alleged that in September 2022 the teacher allegedly kissed the learner near her mouth and placed her hand on his genitals.
The teacher maintained his innocence.
The learner testified that the teacher who had been like a parent to her, changed when she was in Grade 12.
At the time of the incident, a maths test paper was being written. Other pupils finished writing and she was left alone.
The learner said she sought clarity on a question she did not understand. The teacher went to look for the memo but returned claiming that he could not find it.
The learner alleged that the teacher provided the answer and she submitted the paper but as she left she found the door was locked.
“He said ‘I gave you the answer – what are you going to give me?’’
The learner claims she told him to rather scratch out that answer as she was not going to give him anything in return. The teacher allegedly sexually assaulted her.
Another teacher testified that she received a voice message with the learner sounding distressed. The accused teacher was already on a final warning, suspended for three months and had to pay a fine for asking a Grade 9 learner to come to his class, she said.
Singh-Bhoopchand said: “The teacher claims (the other teacher) is responsible for his predicament but provides no reason why she would want to frame him. Neither is there any plausible reason why (the learner) would want to fabricate a story.” His claim is highly improbable and appears to be nothing more than a desperate attempt to cast blame elsewhere.”