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Teacher held for ‘sexual harassment’ of KZN girl

The KZN department of education said it would tackle sexual offences at the province’s schools, after information came to light that a 14-year-old schoolgirl was allegedly sexually harassed by a teacher, last week.

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Published Feb 21, 2022

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DURBAN – The KwaZulu-Natal education department confirmed that a teacher was arrested for sexually harassing a girl at an unnamed school in the province

Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi confirmed that allegations of sexual harassment of a 14-year-old schoolgirl was reported to the department on Friday.

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Mahlambi said the department was dealing with the matter, and that the police and the Justice Department were also involved.

“As we speak, the male perpetrator is in custody. We want to clean up our schools of such acts, and we will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against this male educator,” he said.

Mahlambi said it was unfortunate that the incident occurred in the wake of the launch of the Prevention and Management of Teenage Pregnancy Policy by the National Department of Education on Thursday.

He said sexual harassment was one of the issues that the policy dealt with.

In a statement released today, the DA’s education spokesperson, Dr Imran Keeka, commented on an alleged act of sexual abuse by an educator at a northern KZN school.

Keeka said the DA in the province remained deeply worried about public reports of incidents of illicit relationships between teachers and pupils in schools.

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“We have, for a long time called for the vetting of educators against the sexual offences register and this, to the best of our knowledge, has not taken place.

“This places learners at immense risk of being preyed on by those who are supposed to be their guardians during school hours, and in whose trust they are placed for a significant portion of the day.”

He said where these incidents were reported, swift action was required and must involve the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit of the SAPS, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Health.

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“We also believe that the Department of Education must also conduct its own investigations and suspensions, and must also keep the South African Council of Educators informed at all times,” said Keeka.

Keeka added that the allegations of such incidents in schools were never easy to process for parents, learners, educators, staff and the public.

“In this latest incident, we expect that all authorities involved will act swiftly to get to the bottom of the allegations, and ensure that justice is served per the findings, and following of the due process,” he said.

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