NEWS

SA Council Of Educators Wants Power To Name And Shame Teachers Guilty Of Rape and Sexual Assault

As many as 8,700 pupils fell pregnant last year.

11/09/2017 06:14 SAST | Updated 11/09/2017 06:14 SAST
Klaus Vedfelt

The SA Council for Educators (SACE) is seeking an urgent amendment to specific legislation so that it can have the power to publicly name and shame educators found guilty of offences, including rape and sexual misconduct.

"We want it stated explicitly in the SACE Act of Parliament [Act 31 of 2000]. We definitely want to take this forward," SACE spokesperson Thembinkosi Ndhlovu told HuffPost SA.

"We commissioned a legal opinion about publicising the names of educators struck off the roll. The feedback was that it was highly recommended that there be an amendment to the act, and this would would give us the power to name and expose teachers found guilty of different misdemeanours, including sexual misconduct."

The act currently does not include provision as to whether those found guilty of crimes and who are struck off the educators' roll could be publicly named.

"Hopefully once people are exposed, it will help us and it will help society. We want them to be exposed. We believe that would be a deterrant to others who would want to do the same thing."

Read here: Sex For Marks, What Is Happening In SA Schools?

He was speaking after 30 pupils fell pregnant in one Northern Cape school, allegedly by teachers

IOL reported early last week that pupils from Bothitong High School claimed they were being paid stipends for having unprotected sex with male teachers. The teachers were reportedly placed on suspension.

Later in the week, another school in Pretoria came under the spotlight after a teacher was suspended for allegedly sexually assaulting nine pupils.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi told News24 that educators had a responsibility to be role models.

"Our children cannot be afraid to go school in fear of sexual assaults by an educator. Such incidents are regrettable and must not be allowed to prevail in our schools," Lesufi was quoted as saying.

Ndhlovu, meanwhile, said the SACE was extremely concerned by the number of cases being reported.

From April to August this year, the council had received 21 complaints related to sexual misconduct by educators. News24 reported that, in March, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said 8,700 primary and high school pupils fell pregnant last year -- 157 of them in the Northern Cape.

"We feel we're not winning this battle with perpetrators 100%," said Ndhlovu.

"The council is extremely concerned about the state of affairs. With all those allegations of teachers having sexual relations with pupils, it's a major concern and we are taking a zero-tolerance approach."

He said the SACE was attending to both cases with urgency and teams had been dispatched to the schools to investigate.

"We need order and dignity in the teaching profession to be restored."