Durban - A new teacher at a Chatsworth school is feeling the wrath of parents who fear he was transferred because of serious issues, including sexual misconduct, at his old school.

And one parent has lodged a charge of assault against the teacher for allegedly hitting and threatening her 10-year-old son.

The chairperson of the school governing body told POST parents were worried about rumours that were circulating about the teacher’s past, and the failure by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education to either confirm or deny them.

“We heard rumours about alleged sexual misconduct at the previous school and harassment.

"We objected in a letter to the department and requested they furnish us with details pertaining to his case or cases and the alleged allegations, which we believe are of a serious nature, as it is our right to know,” he said.

“But they could not provide us with an answer.”

The chairperson said they had also called the department about the alleged assault and asked for it to be investigated.

“They told us to do an investigation and then go to them,” he said. “There is currently an investigation. As a parent, I feel very uncomfortable having young kids around this person, if this is true.”

The parent who opened the assault case, told POST her son had been involved in a “minor altercation” with a fellow pupil on October 26 and the teacher, who had dealt with the matter, had smacked her son on the left ear.

“A minor matter between kids could have been resolved easily. He used force in anger against my child,” said the mother.

“He also threatened to have my child arrested and thrown in prison, and further threatened to stab my child with a pair of scissors. I laid a charge against him.”

She said her son did not want to return to school after the incident. “My son was scared he would be victimised, but he was persuaded to go back to school.”

Names are being withheld to protect the identity of the boy, as well as the teacher, who remains innocent until proven guilty.

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane, confirmed a case of assault was being investigated.

The principal declined to comment and referred POST to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, whose spokesman had not responded by the time of publication.

Vee Gani, chairperson of the KZN Parents’ Association, said he was aware of the incident at the primary school.

“I received a letter from the parent detailing all the allegations and I have forwarded it to the district office and the Department of Education.

“It is sad to hear such allegations - and it is alleged that the educator also threatened the child.

“The department needs to investigate, take the necessary precautions and deal with the employee if the allegations are true. We need to protect our children.

“Assault is a serious offence and the assault of a minor makes it even worse. We speak about children and children’s rights, and educators are supposed to be protectors.”

The teacher at the centre of the row declined to comment.

POST