The DA spokesperson for education Khume Ramulifho visited Reiger Park Secondary School to assess the impact of the recent sex scandal on teaching and learning. Picture: Dimpho Maja/ANA
Johannesburg - The Reiger Park Secondary School principal whose videos and pictures of himself having sex with pupils and staff went viral has been described as a “nobleman” and a “pillar in the community”.

The principal is still a free man, because none of the victims have laid a complaint with the police.

Instead, a parent with a child at the school, as well as a former pupil, had nothing but praise for the principal on Monday.

The parent said the principal did not force anyone into sex and that he was someone who instilled morals and values in pupils.

Read: Sex-den school fury

“He was a good principal and the children respected him highly. He instilled morals and values in the children.

“With (regard to) the sex incidents, he did not force anyone to do anything. It was all consensual and it is just a pity that all of this took place on the school’s premises,” said the mother of a Grade 8 pupil.

The woman went on to describe the principal as a “nobleman”, saying he was not guilty of anything and was in fact a pillar in the community.

She also said that after the scandal, the school was unusually quiet and that one could feel in the atmosphere that something was wrong.

A former pupil at the school echoed these sentiments, saying he looked up to the principal.

“The principal was a very helpful man and what happened does not in any way change my perception of him.

“He would sometimes even offer bursaries to leraners who had completed their schooling and could not afford further studies,” he said.

Boksburg police station spokesperson Nomsa Sekele said they would only be able to assist if a case number was supplied. The police previously said no complaint had been lodged against the principal.

Gauteng Education Department spokesperson Steve Mabona on Monday reiterated that the principal had resigned and that an investigation was under way.

“Following the videos and pictures that emerged on social media, the department appointed a law firm to investigate the circumstances surrounding the principal’s resignation. The report is expected sometime this week,” Mabona added.

Also read: Fresh allegations against former Reiger Park principal

Back to business at Reiger Park High following sex scandal

Asked why some people would still look up to the principal despite the video and evidence of him sleeping with the pupils and staff, clinical psychologist Belinda Train said it would be difficult to comment without a better understanding and more background information.

But she thought the community was protecting him.

“They are acknowledging that he has good qualities and defending him might also be because of his position of authority. They might also not want him removed from his position,” said Train.

The DA’s spokesperson for education, Khume Ramulifho, and the party’s spokesperson for higher education, Belinda Bozzoli, visited the school on Monday to assess if the scandal had affected teaching and learning in any way.

Ramulifho said the main issue was that pupils had no support system to report the scourge of sexual abuse.

That would eventually lead to a vast number of high school dropouts, as victims were often ashamed to be in close proximity to their offenders, he said.

Ramulifho added that they were trying to establish a hotline where victims could report such matters.

“Most pupils who go through this are often dying inside and do not know there is help outside.

“The Gauteng education MEC appointing a task team is not enough, because that task team is already busy with a number of issues and this is a sensitive matter,” he said.

Ward 34 councillor in Reiger Park Charles Crawford said the school needed to gain the public’s lost trust.

“We need to try our level best to ensure that this does not get out of hand.

“And we need to take the necessary steps to rebuild the trust of the community,” Crawford added.

The Star