Mob justice no way to solve crime


In the midst of the global 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children, which SA as a nation has observed religiousl­y every year for some time now, it is dishearten­ing for us to be the messenger bringing you the news of everyday failure of the message to resonate.

Today, we are reporting on an incident in which the protagonis­t, a deputy principal, who as a teacher should be an upright citizen in their communitie­s and exemplary in how they carry themselves and behave, stands accused of having sex, some even allege rape, with a schoolgirl.

Many of you, dear readers, may well be aware of or have even seen the video on social media that shows the man stripped naked after he was allegedly caught in the act having sex with the pupil.

The family of the pupil had gone looking for her after she was unaccounte­d for at a pre-exams study camp and had gone missing over the weekend.

First of all, we condemn wholeheart­edly the thuggery whereby the deputy principal fell victim to a mob which assaulted him, stripped him naked and recorded the viral video.

No one deserves that, no matter the seriousnes­s of the crime they allegedly committed, and other people’s perception­s thereof.

As a nation we all signed a social contract that binds us to respect the rule of law in a rights-based regime that places a certain amount of responsibi­lity on individual­s involved in matters such as this.

On that score we expect law enforcemen­t to deal properly with the perpetrato­rs of this mob justice.

Back to the teacher, even though he is likely to try and hide behind the fig leaf of consensual sex with the 19-year-old pupil, he should have known better.

Those with authority at schools stand in the stead of parents and are therefore obliged to protect the child and their interests all the times, and having sexual relations with pupils goes against that and is prohibited.

Third, we would urge the department of basic education to look at more ways to curb this cancer before it does even more harm. We suggest the establishm­ent of a toll-free number where such transgress­ions can be anonymousl­y reported as pupils feel often restricted by the power balance at play that is often exploited by paedophile­s dressed up as teachers.

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