Johannesburg -

Teacher union Sadtu expressed shock on Wednesday at a Soweto primary school teacher who was charged with sexual assault.

“If the report is true Sadtu is utterly disgusted at such callous conduct,” the SA Democratic Teachers' Union said in a statement.

“Sadtu is vehemently opposed to the sexual harassment and abuse of learners by teachers.”

Police spokeswoman Constable Zanele Bens confirmed charges of sexual assault were laid at the Kliptown police station.

The Sowetan reported on Wednesday that a teacher who worked at a Pimville school was placed on a precautionary suspension following allegations that he sexually abused a pupil.

The teacher was facing an internal disciplinary hearing after he was accused of showing a pornographic video to two girls, and then sexually molesting one of them. He allegedly showed the two Grade seven pupils, aged 13 and 14, a video of a police officer and a prison officer having sex at Leratong Hospital last year.

He allegedly sexually assaulted the 13-year-old on November 5 after showing her the video in his office. The 14-year-old managed to run away after being shown the video later that month, the Sowetan reported.

Sadtu spokesman Nomusa Cembi said the report came at a time when the country was spreading messages calling for the protection of women and children, as part of the 16 days of activism against gender violence campaign, being observed worldwide.

“We welcome the fact that the teacher has been placed on precautionary suspension. We call for intense counselling for these learners, who if they are not appropriately attended to, will be scarred for life.” - Sapa