Panyaza Lesufi, MEC for Education in Gauteng File picture: Oupa Mokoena/ANA
Johannesburg - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi will attend the court case of a Soweto scholar patroller accused of molesting 87 schoolgirls at a Soweto school, the Gauteng Department of Education said on Tuesday.

The 57-year-old man will again appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court following an initial appearance last week, where he was charged with three counts of rape and one of indecent assault.

In a terse statement, the department confirmed Lesufi's plans to attend proceedings in Soweto.

This follows his recent meeting with parents at the Orlando East school on Sunday.

Lesufi reportedly told the meeting the department's sexual harassment probe would be extended to other schools in Soweto.

Last week community members were left shocked after initial reports emerged that 54 schoolgirls had allegedly been sexually violated by the patroller.

The number then rose from 54 to 87 later on in the week after more pupils reported that they too had been sexually assaulted.

The Department of Education dismissed the man while Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi removed school’s principal and her management team with immediate effect.

The department had confirmed last week Friday that the number of cases opened had increased to 44.