Gauteng school pupils are still being taught by teachers who have been accused of sexual misconduct. This was revealed by the Gauteng MEC of Education Matome Chiloane in answers on cases of sexual misconduct against teachers.
MORE THAN 170 SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CASES AGAINST TEACHERS
A total of 173 allegations of sexual misconduct were reported against teachers in the past five years in Gauteng.
This information was revealed by the Chiloane in answers to questions posed by the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Chiloane said 86 teachers who faced allegations of sexual misconduct are still teaching.
“Some were found not guilty and in other cases sanctions short of dismissal were pronounced.”MEC Matome Chiloane
On the other hand, 87 teachers have been found guilty of sexual misconduct.
But the Gauteng Education Department does not keep records of such cases being reported to the police.
The MEC said it was not the responsibility of Labour Relations to keep such records. Victims are rather encouraged to open criminal cases with the police.
“This means that those found guilty were allowed to walk free without facing the might of the law. This is unacceptable and denies justice for the victims,” said DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education Khume Ramulifho.
PRECAUTIONARY SUSPENSION COSTING THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
29 teachers have been placed on precautionary suspension in the past five years.
Currently, six teachers are on precautionary suspension for sexual misconduct, the MEC revealed.
“The average number of days for precautionary suspension is 346. The cost of precautionary suspension to date for the last five years is R10 595 744.89,” Chiloane said in his answers.
Ramulifho says the MEC should speed up the investigation process for the teachers currently on precautionary suspension. He says these figures are “appalling” and a “clear indication that innocent lives are at risk”.
“The slower the investigations are, the more money the department will spend on precautionary suspensions. In addition, l will directly engage with the MEC to ascertain why the department is not opening cases against teachers found to be guilty of sexual misconduct.”
The DA further demands that the names of teachers found guilty of sexual misconduct be submitted. These details should be registered under the National Register for Sex Offenders, said Ramulifho.
“This will ensure that these teachers are banned from working with children. Schools should be safe spaces for learners where sexual offenders are not permitted,” he said.