Racism, physical assault, intimidation and failing to stop a brutal initiation culture - these are among the new allegations levelled against teachers and coaches at the embattled Parktown Boys' High School.
Four teachers have already resigned following the outcome of the initial investigation into misconduct at the school.
As the Gauteng Department of Basic Education commissions a second investigation into allegations of teacher misconduct at the school, the Saturday Star has seen the voluminous dossier of evidence used as the basis for both probes.
A recording showing a beating during an initiation on a first team water polo tour from January this year has revealed that pupils were still engaging in violent behaviour against their peers.
The school has been at the centre of a series of investigations following alleged sexual abuse of at least 30 pupils at the school.
After the arrest of the water polo coach accused of the molestation, a wave of allegations emerged against at least nine other teachers at the school.
These included accusations of secondary victimisation of pupils assaulted by the water polo coach, physical and sexual abuse, as well as teacher behaviour discouraging pupils from coming forward.
Last week, the department announced that a new law firm would be conducting a second probe, following new evidence submitted to it and reported dissatisfaction by parents over the findings of the initial probe.
The dossier of evidence submitted by parents and concerned staff at the school details a series of incidents involving at least 13 teachers.
Among the evidence was a video of a water polo tour from January this year.
In the video, taken secretly by one of the pupils on the tour, teammates were forcing each other to scream: “What happens on tour stays on tour. You cry, you die.”
In the background were sounds of a pupil being hit by a pipe. The pupil, seemingly struggling to speak, was told that the previous year’s punishment was terrible, with preceding years being even worse, and he should “feel lucky” that he was only being hit.
The school has previously said it specifically put an end to such initiation practices among the boys, particularly after a well-publicised 2009 incident where pupils were sexually abused by their peers, who stripped them naked, rubbed Deep Heat on their genitalia and beat them.
The evidence, with corroborating statements from multiple pupils, also pointed to racial incidents where one teacher at the school - in front of his class - called three black pupils “* ****r 1, * ****r 2 and * ****r 3”.
Another teacher was accused of offering steroids to a pupil, while yet another was accused of intimidating and becoming physically aggressive with multiple pupils, eventually leading to a disciplinary hearing over his outbursts.
These, among several other incidents, have already been reported by the Saturday Star.
Regarding the water polo tour incident, the school’s governing body (SGB) responded to the Saturday Star via a written statement, saying: “Those involved in the incident were taken through a governing body hearing. Unfortunately it seems the parents who had access to this video refused to share it with the school even after numerous attempts to do so.
"The school community has signed a declaration form against all forms of initiation, which is a first among schools to reiterate appropriate conduct on tours and camps.”
The SGB denied any evidence had been submitted to confirm the allegations of steroids or racism. Regarding the teacher accused of intimidation, the SGB said: “This educator did have a previous hearing where he was found not guilty, (it) related to an alleged verbal outburst. We have no evidence of a student being hit and therefore cannot comment on this accusation.”
GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona said all of the allegations would form part of the new investigation, but confirmed the racism incident had resulted in a disciplinary process for the teacher involved.
Last week, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said two more teachers at the school would be transferred to district offices pending finalisation of the investigation. But the teachers were still at the school this week.
In response to this, Mabona said: “The department must always conform to labour legislation, and as such, on June 11, the said educators were served with notices of intention to precautionary suspend them; they must be given an opportunity to reply within five days.
“As soon as we receive their correspondences, the department will take a decision which will be communicated to them accordingly.”
The Saturday Star