Protestors gathered at the Tongaat Secondary School demanding the removal of the teacher. Picture: Janine Moodley.

Durban - A charge of statutory rape has been opened against the Tongaat teacher accused of raping a pupil. 

The teacher who cannot be named until he pleads was charged on September 16. 

According to KZN police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala a 16-year-old female was raped allegedly by a known suspect in the premises on Tongaat main road. 

"A case of rape was opened at Tongaat police station and transferred to Phoenix Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for investigation," said Gwala. 

According to a source, the parents of the pupil had opened up the case. 

"The child has provided a statement and the criminal case will not follow its due course."

On September 9 parents, pupils and members from Child Welfare staged a protest outside the school demanding a removal of the teacher following the allegations. 

He was subsequently suspended and the Department of Education launched an investigation. 

Spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said sexual abuse has been as much a constant feature of South African. ''

"A male teacher at Tongaat Secondary school in Pinetown district has been caught out exchanging graphic material through WhatsApp messages. These include photos and text messages."

He added that the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal distances itself from any sexual harassment/abuse, and would not hesitate to act against any sexual offenders within the education sector."