Fury over Phoenix teacher’s promotion despite allegations of ’affairs’ with pupils
Durban - THE Education Department has confirmed that it is investigating allegations of repeated sexual misconduct against a teacher who was allegedly known to have affairs with girls from poor households, but was still recently appointed acting principal of the same Phoenix school.
It is alleged that the teacher, who cannot be named pending the outcome of the investigation, had been appointed to a management position – despite being known to have committed sexual misconduct that ended in the victims dropping out of school and another moving to another school.
According to a source, the man made his current wife pregnant while she was in matric many years ago.
Sources said the man’s conduct was reported to the then principal, who allegedly ignored the matter.
Instead, one of the victims was kicked out of the school and did not continue with her schooling.
It is alleged that the teacher targeted another female child, also from a broken home, in 2017.
“He used his usual tricks until he made a sexually loaded remark, which the child took great offence to. She raised a complaint. By this time, the school had a new female principal who was fully aware of this teacher’s past shenanigans. You would think the fact the principal was female – coupled with a known history of this teacher’s deviant behaviour – meant she would take the matter more seriously.
“But she did exactly what the previous principal did and brushed the matter under the carpet,” a source said.
Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi confirmed the department had launched a probe into the allegations.
“The department is aware of these allegations. They are currently being investigated and more information is coming to the fore, but it cannot be shared at this point in time,” he said.
In a letter sent to the Daily News, a source close to the investigation said the issue was raised on a number of occasions “through all the appropriate channels” including with the principal, the district director and SA Council of Educators.
“What has triggered the desire to take the matter public is the complete betrayal by a system that has again, unashamedly, rewarded the most shameful indiscretions committed against the most vulnerable in society – young females,” said the source.
The allegations before the department include claims that the teacher ganged up with other teachers to persecute a child and forced her to leave the school. The girl was allegedly forced to return to her foster family, to continue her schooling in another area.
“After the matter did not receive attention internally, we reported it to the SA Council of Educators ( Sace) in 2019. After months of delays, Sace sent a team of investigators to the school, but we were not happy with the investigation and we complained to Sace. Sace agreed that the investigation was poorly conducted and promised to send another team of investigators about six to eight months ago but, without the matter being resolved, the teacher accused of such serious allegations was promoted to the position of acting principal,” said the source.
A Sace spokesperson was contacted to comment on the investigation, but was unavailable and did not respond to questions sent to him.