Cape Town - A teacher who was fired from a Mitchells Plain High school after claims that she taught children about Satanism says the allegations are false.
Tania Wessels, 29, was also accused of claiming she was married to God, and telling shocked learners that she had been raped by her father.
The teacher says she was actually educating learners about the Bible, but admits she has a “weird sense of humour”.
Wessels was asked to leave her post at Mondale High School in Portlands last week by principal Owen Bridgens.
Bridgens has refused to comment.
Learners alleged that Wessels talked to them about Satanism and asked them to draw Satanic symbols in their books.
Two videos made by learners in the class went viral on Facebook and show one pupil asking her if she had been raped, to which Wessels replies, “yes, but it was a long time ago”.
In the second video, she tells learners: “Praise the Lord. I smoke, I drink and I still praise my God, is that a problem?”, and “Excuse me, I don’t perform rituals out of the air.”
In a 5-minute voice note on WhatsApp, a boy claims the teacher told them she had been raped by her father and that she was married to God, and had tombs at her home.
“The principal told me in front of the class to take my books and leave, and said the children told him I said I am married to God. I don’t even know where that came from,” she tells the Daily Voice.
“The video where the girl asks if I was raped, I said yes because everyone was coming into my class and I just didn’t like the gossip. I have never been raped by my dad.”
When asked if she taught Satanism or asked the children to make Satanic drawings, Wessels denied it and said she was referring to the Bible and Egyptian history.
“It is fabricated and nonsense and I have the books to prove it. I taught them about the Bible.
“I do say crazy stuff when I am making jokes,” she admits.
However, a source at the school claims they saw the Grade 9 pupils' drawings and said they were “definitely satanic”.
The person would not describe the symbols, saying they could get into trouble.
WCED spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond, confirms Wessels was removed from her post.
“The school has indicated that the teacher was hired on a contract post as a Life Orientation teacher,” Hammond says.
“After the first day of teaching, some learners complained, indicating lessons included stories about her personal life, and they were not part of the curriculum.
“The principal investigated the claims. Some of the claims reported are exaggerated. There was a conversation that was inappropriate.”