Teachers’ unions have welcomed the life imprisonment sentence handed down to a 52-year-old Seshego schoolteacher convicted of repeatedly raping his own daughter.
The teacher started to sexually abuse the girl from 2007 when she was 10, when her mother was away on errands.
The Polokwane Magistrate’s Court heard that the teacher told his daughter he had to sleep with her to “prepare her for the future”.
The girl fell pregnant in 2013, but her father forced her to terminate the pregnancy because it would have brought shame to the family.
The girl finally broke her silence in 2014 and told her family about the rapes.
“After the termination of the pregnancy, the teacher went on to rape the girl until 2014, when she told the family about her rape ordeal,” the court learnt.
The sentence was applauded by the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) and the South African Council of Educators (Sace).
Sadtu provincial secretary Matome Raphasha said: “Parents believe we should impart knowledge to their children and not to bed them. They believe when they leave us with their children we will educate them, guide them and protect them.
“But instead, some of us betray their trust by sleeping with their children instead of grooming them to become better future leaders. It is even more disgusting that this teacher raped his own child,” said Raphasha.
Raphasha said the union would also take action against the teacher as he brought the name of the union into disrepute.
Sace announced yesterday the victims of sexual predator teachers were beginning to come forward with their stories.
Sace spokesperson Themba Ndhlovu said: “In many incidents, parents or even the victims would prefer to conceal the incident and try to resolve it out of court instead of reporting it.
“We appeal to victims and parents of victims to report such incidents to school governing bodies or the school management team, Sace or the department.”