Durban - THE Education Department has warned teachers in relationships with pupils that even if the relationships were allowed by the pupils’ parents, the teachers would still be fired and blacklisted from teaching.
The warning was accompanied by the news that a Melmoth teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old pupil had been suspended.
Spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said cases of teachers having relationships with pupils were increasing. The department viewed them in a serious light.
Mahlambi said that following reports that the teacher was facing criminal charges of statutory rape
and attempted murder, and had appeared in court last week, the department had decided to suspend him
pending the outcome of the investigation.
The teacher allegedly psychologically groomed the girl into believing they were in a relationship.
When she fell pregnant, he had given the pupil tablets he claimed were for pain.
The pupil was rushed to hospital in a critical condition and it was discovered the tablets were intended to induce an abortion.
Mahlambi said the teacher would be subjected to an internal investigation and disciplinary hearing.
He said that even if the pupil’s family dropped the charges against the teacher, he would be fired and could be blacklisted from teaching if the department’s investigation finds he had a relationship with the pupil.
“If we find the allegations against the teacher are true, we won’t hesitate to fire him because he knew what he was getting himself into.
“As a trained teacher, he’s aware that sexual and love relationships with pupils are prohibited and are against the Schools Act.
“It’s not only prohibited at school, but it’s also a disgrace for an elderly man to have a sexual relationship with a minor child. It should start with parents not allowing this to happen to their children at home,” Mahlambi said.