'SEX PEST' teacher found guilty!

A teacher has been found guilty of  sexually harassing schoolgirls.
A teacher has been found guilty of sexually harassing schoolgirls.

A GAUTENG teacher was found guilty by the Education Labour Relations Council of sexually harassing two pupils.

The judgment towards the teacher from a school in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni was handed down by the council arbitrator Mark Hawyes on Friday, 5 May.

During the inquiry, the first pupil testified how she had a spiritual incident in January 2022 where she suspected that she was being attacked by a familiar ancestral spirit towards the end of her period with the accused teacher.

This caused her to feel unwell and disoriented, and her friend assisted her as they left for their next class which was a history period, she said. 

Shortly thereafter she said the teacher came to their history class and called the pupil and her friend to his office as he appeared to be concerned about her condition.

The accused teacher then asked the friend to go get the pupil a glass of water while he sat in his office and untied the pupil's tie.

The pupil testified that the teacher deliberately touched her breasts under the pretence of assisting her and when her friend returned with water, she drank it and returned to their history class.

Telling her friend about what happened, the pupil testified how uncomfortable and disappointed she was as she did not expect that a trusted and respected teacher would touch her inappropriately.

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A similar story was told by the second pupil, who said on July 2022 she had brought a phone to school and when she forgot to put it on silent it rang in class, leading to the accused teacher to confiscate it.

With the hope of getting her phone back, after class she went to the accused teacher to apologise. But the accused teacher apparently saw an opportunity to touch her inappropriately and proclaimed his love for her.

The matter was reported to the District offices by the local Representative Council of Learners (RCL), also known as the Congress of South African Students (COSAS), for investigations.

During the investigations, the accused teacher wasn't allowed to come to school until he was proven innocent.

In his testimony, the teacher denied the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him.

But Hawyes found that the teacher could not produce convincing evidence as to why the two pupils would falsely implicate him in the two instances of sexual harassment. Instead, Hawyes found the pupils to be credible witnesses who remained consistent throughout the inquiry.

“I observed a pattern of the employee taking advantage of the two learners when they were in a state of compromise. In both instances, the employee was clearly alone in his office with the young girls,” Hawyes said.

As a result, Hawyes found the accused teacher guilty on both counts of "unacceptable, improper, and disgraceful conduct".

The council's outcome will be determined once both parties have submitted their arguments within three days

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