Four male teachers fired for sexually abusing their female pupils
Bonani Makhaga, who taught at a Soweto school, was the latest of the four from four different schools in the provinces to be dismissed.
The Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), a bargaining council serving the public education sector, delivered its ruling against Makhaga last week at its headquarters in Centurion.
Makhaga was found guilty on five counts. In the first two counts, to which he “voluntarily without duress pleaded guilty”, he sexually assaulted a Grade 5 learner in July last year by touching her bottom, hips and breasts, inviting the same child to the school’s computer laboratory and unbuttoning her shirt, sucking her breasts and silencing her by kissing when she tried to scream.
As part of the last three counts, all of which he denied and was found guilty based on unassailable evidence, Makhaga sexually assaulted another Grade 5 girl from the same school by touching her hips, buttocks and private parts.
He abused another Grade 5 learner by brushing her breasts, hips, private parts and entire body.
In the last count, Makhaga sexually assaulted a Grade 6 girl by forcefully hugging and touching her breasts and buttocks.
According to the ruling, Makhaga testified that the mistake he made was to become close and emotionally attached to the learners.
He said he used to give them money during break and they fabricated allegations of sexual harassment when he stopped.
His claims held no water.
“Makhaga must be dismissed,” concluded the ruling.
The Star further ascertained that three other teachers were handed their marching orders between last month and this month.
These are Yusuf Khan from KwaZulu-Natal, Zola Sajini from the Eastern Cape and Msimele Sogoni from the Western Cape.
Khan was found guilty of two counts, that he sexually abused a Grade 5 learner by fondling her breasts and asked another girl if she “had sex before, you want to teach her sex and if she wants to be a slay queen”.
He protested his innocence, submitting that he touched the first learner’s face and forehead after she complained of being unwell.
About the other learner, Khan said he only reprimanded her because she was getting up to mischief like kissing another learner and having inappropriate pictures on her phone.
He denied talking to her about sex. The ELRC emphatically found against Khan.
Sajini, who had been teaching since 1994, was found guilty of sexually assaulting two learners in 2017.
In the first count, the ELRC found him guilty on allegations that he made sexual advances towards a 15-year-old Grade 6 girl.
He touched her breasts, played with her bra from behind and asked her what she was wearing underneath her school uniform.
He denied the charges and told the ELRC that he was a victim of conspiracy owing to school infighting.
The Eastern Cape Education Department was ordered to fire Sajini by March 31.
Sogoni was found guilty of two counts.
He sexually harassed a Grade 7 learner by touching her breasts with his hand and requesting her to hug and kiss him and then attempted to kiss her.
Sogoni pleaded not guilty to all the charges, testifying that he did not know why the learner would lie about him.
The ELRC found him guilty. “The sanction is summary dismissal,” it concluded.
The SA Council of Educators acts swiftly to de-register teachers guilty of misconduct once it received the ELRC’s rulings, spokesperson Themba Ndhlovu said.@BonganiNkosi87