The Gauteng Department of Education confirms that it is offering counselling to learners sexually assaulted by an alleged scholar patroller. Picture: Dimpho Maja/ANA

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) confirms that it is offering counselling to learners sexually assaulted by an alleged scholar patroller.

This follows reports that 54 learners had been assaulted by a male scholar patroller in a primary school in Soweto. 

MEC Panyaza Lesufi removed the school’s principal and her management team with immediate effect. 

In a statement, the department said: “This is necessitated by the seriousness of the allegations of sexual assault of about 54 learners, by a Scholar Patroller at the school, who was subsequently arrested on Monday, 09 October 2017. "

The patroller has since appeared at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 11 October 2017 and is remanded in police custody to appear on Wednesday, 18 October 2017.”

“We will soon engage with the School Governing Body to establish reasons why they should not be dissolved,” said the GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona. 

An independent body has been appointed to investigate all allegations levelled against the Principal and her Management. 

Mabona said that the department was satisfied with counselling the process conducted by a Multi-Discipline Team, made up of GDE officials, 
Departments of Social Development, Health and the Teddy Bear Clinic. 

"We remain grateful to all stakeholders especially the Teddy Bear Clinic and our Psycho Social Support Services. I am grateful that the department has prioritised this matter and we will leave no stone unturned,” said Lesufi.

Lesufi later took to Twitter and confirmed that the number of learners who were allegedly sexually assaulted by the patroller guard at the school in Soweto had increased to 83. 

The Star