Special needs pupil allegedly molested
THE Department of Education has formed a committee to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, including an allegation of the sexual abuse of a pupil at Vulekani Special School in uMzimkhulu, south-west of Durban.
Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana visited the school yesterday after allegations emerged at the sitting of Parliament of the Disabled.
The Mercury understands this is at least the second incident involving the alleged sexual abuse of a pupil at the school.
In the first incident, an official was allegedly fired.
Dlungwana said the department had intervened.
He declined to elaborate, citing the sensitivity of the case and the need to follow the department’s legal policies.
“We came to the school because of the many allegations, including sexual abuse. We found that there are such allegations. There are certain ‘far-reaching’ decisions that we have taken to restore learning and the public’s faith in the school.”
DA spokesperson on education Dr Rishigen Viranna said in 2016 there was a similar incident at the school.
“Sexual assaults of pupils is out of hand. It’s worse that it is happening in special schools as there are supposed to be additional measures to guard against such incidents,” he said.
IFP education spokesperson Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa said the department needed to protect the pupils.
“The children themselves cannot report what is happening to them, so the perpetrators hardly get caught. Those who are caught always come back.”