Dis­gust at rape of pupil

‘SCHOOLS ARE MEANT TO BE THE SAFEST PLACE’

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS - – ror­isangk@cit­i­zen.co.za

Ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Angie Mot­shekga ex­pressed “dis­gust and pain” at “em­bar­rass­ing” re­ports this week of a KwaZulu-Natal school prin­ci­pal al­legedly invit­ing other teachers to gang-rape a learner.

Mot­shekga was speak­ing in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day to give an up­date on the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor fol­low­ing a meet­ing of the Coun­cil of Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ters which was held in the cap­i­tal.

“I find it ex­tremely un­be­liev­able that… a prin­ci­pal in­vited teachers to do this. Schools are meant to be the safest place for par­ents to leave their chil­dren. My at­ti­tude [to­wards this] is dis­gust and pain.”

The in­ci­dent, caught on cell­phone video, showed the prin­ci­pal and two teachers gang-rap­ing the girl. The KwaZulu-Natal ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment said this week that seven teachers would be served with no­tices of sus­pen­sion.

In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, a video clip showed a male teacher vi­ciously as­sault­ing two young fe­male learn­ers.

Both in­ci­dents are be­lieved to have taken place in the Esikhaw­ini area near Richards Bay.

“All of­fend­ers will be sus­pended by the de­part­ment. Whether it is for sex­ual as­sault or mis­con­duct. We have a zero tol­er­ance for sex­ual mis­con­duct. When al­le­ga­tions like this come up, we don’t think twice. We deal with you harshly. We don’t take such things lightly,” KwaZulu-Natal ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment spokesper­son Kwazi Satur­day Cit­i­zen Mthethwa told yes­ter­day.

While cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment is re­garded un­law­ful, 50% of pupils across the coun­try have ex­pe­ri­enced such pun­ish­ment at some point in their school­ing ca­reer, with KwaZulu-Natal lead­ing with 71%.

“In Gaut­eng, it has gone down to 34%. There is a high level of vi­o­lence in KZN and that cul­ture gets in our schools. We need to have a holis­tic pro­gramme to ad­dress this. We have agreed to strengthen the hand of SACE [South African Coun­cil of Ed­u­ca­tors] in dis-

I find it ex­tremely un­be­liev­able that… a prin­ci­pal in­vited teachers to do this. My at­ti­tude is dis­gust and pain. Angie Mot­shekga Min­is­ter of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion

ciplin­ing teachers,” the min­is­ter said.

But South African Demo­cratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral Nkosana Dolopi said vi­o­lence by teachers could be a re­sult of a lack of dis­ci­pline by the pupils. Dis­ci­plne has “gone down in our schools”, he said.

“They [teachers] have a sit­u­a­tion whereby learn­ers are not co­op­er­at­ing. More im­por­tant for me is the ques­tion of our value sys­tem. Not only at school level, but in our com­mu­nity.”

Even though he con­demned vi­o­lence to­wards pupils as un­eth­i­cal, crim­i­nal and im­moral, he said some teachers were “beat­ing them out of care and love”.

“When some­one you care about dis­ap­points you, you lose it. It’s not some­thing that you plan. It’s when you are con­fronted with a sit­u­a­tion. That be­ing said, teachers should not be do­ing what they are do­ing. We need to find bet­ter ways of dis­ci­plin­ing learn­ers.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.