CityPress - - News -

Ac­cord­ing to the de­part­ment of ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion, a teacher found to have sex­u­ally ha­rassed pupils may be charged with mis­con­duct in terms of the Em­ploy­ment of Ed­u­ca­tors Act No 76 of 1998.

“The ed­u­ca­tor may be dis­ci­plined in terms of the Code of Good Con­duct of the South African Coun­cil for Ed­u­ca­tors No 31 of 2000 and may be dereg­is­tered from the Sace if found guilty,” the de­part­ment’s web­site says.

“Sec­tion 17 of the Ed­u­ca­tion Laws Amend­ment Act (No 53 of 2000) pro­vides that a teacher must be dis­missed if he or she is found guilty of, among other things: com­mit­ting an act of sex­ual as­sault on a learner, stu­dent or other em­ployee, hav­ing a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with a learner of the school where he or she is em­ployed or be­ing found guilty of se­ri­ous as­sault, re­gard­less of the age of the learner.”

The de­part­ment fur­ther states that sex­ual re­la­tions be­tween any teacher and pupil are to­tally for­bid­den even if the pupil con­sents and is over the age of 16.

In ad­di­tion, teach­ers and school man­agers have a le­gal and eth­i­cal duty to re­port any sex­ual abuse or mis­con­duct hap­pen­ing at a school.

Last year, City Press re­ported that Sace, which im­posed life­time bans on 170 teach­ers across the coun­try in the past two years for sex­ual of­fences, called for the es­tab­lish­ment of a sin­gle data­base of black­listed teach­ers who com­mit­ted sex­ual of­fences.

MEC Mandla Makupula

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