Teacher sends nude selfie to girl

Mom shocked to find lewd im­ages of the man on 15 year old’s phone Trau­ma­tised pupil asks to be re­moved from school

Sowetan - - Front Page - By Zoë Ma­hopo ma­hopoz@sowe­tan.co.za

The prin­ci­pal of an in­de­pen­dent school in Lim­popo says he is ashamed at one of the teach­ers who al­legedly sent pic­tures of his gen­i­tals to a Grade 10 pupil.

The 44-year-old teacher, who can­not be named as he is yet to plead, ap­peared be­fore the Thabamoopo Mag­is­trate’s Court in Le­bowak­gomo yes­ter­day.

He was ar­rested on Wed­nes­day after he al­legedly sent pic­tures of his gen­i­tals to a 15year-old fe­male pupil and also asked her to send him nude pic­tures of her­self.

The pupil alerted her par­ents and they opened a case against him. He faces charges of pro­mot­ing the sex­ual groom­ing of chil­dren.

Yes­ter­day, Rus­plaas Chris­tian Model School prin­ci­pal John M John said he asked the teacher to re­sign from the school four days ago after they heard about the case.

He said the in­ci­dent was an iso­lated one at the school.

“This is un­for­tu­nate. I am ashamed. I called the learn­ers this morn­ing [yes­ter­day] and spoke to them. I per­son­ally apol­o­gised to the learn­ers,” he said.

The pupil’s mother said she was shocked to see nude pic­tures of a grown man on her child’s phone.

The woman, who lives in Gaut­eng, said she trav­elled to Lim­popo after re­ceiv­ing a phone call from the teenager’s grand­mother in­form­ing her of what had hap­pened.

“I couldn’t be­lieve that my child was ex­posed to such things. It broke my heart to see that,” she said.

“I am very dis­ap­pointed. He must not get bail. I be­lieve that this is not the first time he is do­ing this. The other chil­dren were prob­a­bly afraid to speak out,” she said.

She said the girl was trau­ma­tised and ac­tu­ally asked to be re­moved from the school.

John said the in­ci­dent hap­pened after the teacher or­gan­ised an unau­tho­rised trip for a bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment to Pha­l­aborwa, al­most three hours away.

John said pupils had in­formed him that the teacher col­lected monies from them to pay for the trip which was can­celled.

When the al­leged vic­tim pupil con­tacted the teacher to in­quire about the can­cel­la­tion, he al­legedly sent her lewd im­ages of him­self.

The prin­ci­pal added that the school had not is­sued any in­dem­nity forms and was not in­formed about the trip which was set to hap­pen dur­ing the third term hol­i­days

Yes­ter­day, the state said it in­tended op­pos­ing bail when the teacher makes his next court ap­pear­ance on Oc­to­ber 24.

The court also heard the sus­pect had no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions or pend­ing cases.

The teacher had been em­ployed at the school as a life ori­en­ta­tion and phys­i­cal edu- cation teacher since 2006.

John said they would have more meet­ings with par­ents and teach­ers about the is­sue.

Pro­vin­cial de­part­ment of ed­u­ca­tion spokesman Sam Makondo said the case was se­ri­ous.

“It is shock­ing that teach­ers who are the cus­to­di­ans and guardians of chil­dren in the ab­sence of their par­ents can stoop to such lev­els,” Makondo said

This is the sec­ond shock­ing sex­ual of­fence case to be re­ported in the prov­ince this week. A 52-year-old doc­tor was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the rape of a 17-year-old girl in his surgery in Nkowankowa, Tza­neen.

/ AN­TO­NIO MUCHAVE

The teacher who al­legedly sent pic­tures of his gen­i­tals to a school­girl ap­peared in the Thabamoopo Mag­is­trate’s Court in Le­bowak­gomo yes­ter­day.

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