A school principal and a teacher, who allegedly sexually harassed schoolgirls at a high school in Dlangezwa, northern KwaZulu-Natal, have been suspended, the KwaZulu-Natal education department said on Friday.
Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana’s spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa confirmed that the two were facing sexual misconduct charges and were suspended “sometime this week”.
Media reports last week suggested that the principal and two teachers from the school were captured on video gang-raping a school girl.
At the time, Mthethwa told News24 that the allegations were not true.
“Allegations relating to gang rape are not true, there is nothing like that. We have three separate cases of sexual misconduct involving a school principal, a teacher and a security guard,” he said.
The security guard, who was charged with attempted rape, had been removed from the school, Mthethwa said.
The exact nature of the alleged crimes or when they were committed was not immediately clear.
‘Caning’ teacher suspended
Political parties last Tuesday, September 12, condemned the principal and the teachers’ behaviour.
IFP spokesperson on education Thembeni kaMadlopha-Mthethwa said the party was appalled by the alleged “barbaric act” of the suspects while Rishigen Viranna, DA spokesperson on education, said the party was “deeply disturbed” by the video.
Mthethwa on Friday also confirmed that the teacher from Umdlamfe Secondary School in Esikhawini‚ Richards Bay, who was seen caning female pupils in a viral video, was suspended last week.
A medical examination had to be done to determine the extent of the injuries suffered by one of the pupils, Mthethwa said.
In the video‚ which appears to be filmed by a pupil seated at the back of the class‚ a girl is heard screaming and crying as she is caned repeatedly.
Some pupils laugh while the teacher canes the pupil as another pupil writes on the chalkboard.
The teacher then moves towards another female pupil. The pupil tries to push him away and the teacher lashes out repeatedly at her with a cane as she cries out. She eventually manages to make it out of the classroom.