Eastern Cape teacher arrested over sexual abuse allegations

A teacher at Ludidi High School in Matatiele, Eastern Cape, has been incarcerated and placed on precautionary suspension after being accused of sexually abusing a Grade 12 learner.

The incident apparently took place during school hours. This after the alleged perpetrator and victim dropped off a sick learner at a nearby clinic.

According to the province’s education department, the victim filed a report with the local South African Police Service (SAPS), who notified the school.

Victim reported matter to police, who informed the school

“After the police informed the school, the school management communicated these … allegations to the School Governing Body (SGB). The alleged perpetrator has since been incarcerated by the police. Investigations are still underway,” said education spokesperson, Malibongwe Mtima.

Mtima added that the victim was taken to a local Thuthuzela Care Centre for medical attention. This was on the same day as the incident occurred.

“The department has dispatched a team to the school. It is …comprised of the circuit manager, education psychologist and social worker. They will provide support to the victim and kickstart an investigation into the matter.

“As part of conducting this internal investigation, the team held a session with the affected learner and her parent. This for purpose of taking a statement from the said learner.”

Alleged perpetrator placed on suspension to protect learner

Mtima explained that placing the alleged perpetrator on suspension is meant to protect the learner’s right to education. All this while the investigation is underway.

“The district is finalising the appointment of a substitute educator to perform the duties of the suspended educator. This to ensure that teaching and learning are not interrupted by the ordeal.”

Meanwhile, education MEC Fundile Gade, warned all teachers against abusing learners.  The teachers are supposed to protect and nurture, he said.

“Our Labour Relations and Human Resource Development Department has been dispatched to investigate these allegations. … They will pursue necessary disciplinary proceedings against the alleged educator. Educators have a responsibility of looking after these teenagers. Actions of this nature break the mutual trust parents and children have on the teachers. They also betrays such trust,” cautioned Gade.

“We regard all our schools as the safe ground to develop responsible citizens. Occurrences like this defeat this purpose and should be met with the [seriousness] they deserve,” said Gade.

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