Parents are expected to lay criminal charges after seven KwaZulu-Natal teachers, many of whom sexually assaulted pupils at their respective schools, were given the boot by education MEC Kwazi Mshengu, according to a spokesperson.
Department spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said on Tuesday: “We have expelled seven teachers and one administrator. The MEC and the department will not stand by and allow children to be taken advantage of. People must not be afraid to report any matters. As long as we have evidence, we move.”
He added that the one administrator worked at a special needs school.
“These are children who need to be assisted and treated very carefully. This man took advantage.”
Mthethwa said that many of the parents of the pupils were expected to lay criminal charges against the perpetrators, who were spread throughout KZN.
“We completed a lengthy internal disciplinary process. Thereafter, as is within their rights, many of the teachers asked for the MEC to intervene. He looked at the cases and determined that officials made the correct decision. Many of them slept with pupils.”
He added: “We have social workers who have of course been working closely with the affected pupils. I can tell you that the majority of parents will be opening criminal cases.”
Mthethwa said that the purge of teachers who committed sexual misconduct was not over.
“In fact, the MEC is currently reviewing 12 other cases. The processes are not rushed, but we can say with certainty that we are clamping down on these heinous crimes as the department.”
He added that there were even cases in which parents were allegedly bribed.
“Some of these cases are not reported, but we are encouraging parents to bring this to us. We have heard in some cases, especially in poor rural areas, that perpetrators will approach parents and give them money for their silence.”
Mthethwa added: “Some will even give parents a cow or goat as an apology. These things are actually happening in our society. We are saying to parents: come forward, we will help you.”
A Tongaat Secondary School teacher was suspended earlier this year after he sent nude pictures and text messages to a teenage pupil.