Girl (13) flees from school
A 13-YEAR-OLD North West girl, who has accused a teacher of raping her, has dropped out of school because she is scared of the man, who still teaches at the school.
The girl, who was allegedly raped in February, only told her mother about the rape three months later when her mother questioned her about her poor performance in school.
North West police spokeswoman Captain Adele Myburgh confirmed that they were investigating a complaint of rape against the teacher.
She said the girl was walking home from choir practice when she was allegedly offered a lift by the teacher. The teacher then allegedly told her he needed to stop at his house.
Once in the house the teacher allegedly told the girl it was late and that he would take her home in the morning.
"She slept in a separate bedroom but during the night the teacher allegedly went to her room and raped her," Myburgh said.
Bayanda Zenzile of the North West department of education said she was not aware of a rape charge against the teacher and could only comment on what was known to the department, namely a charge of defamation which the teacher laid against the girl.
She said: "The teacher opened a case of defamation of character against the child. As far as we are concerned he remains innocent until proven otherwise. We'll wait for the outcome of the court case."
North West police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane confirmed on Friday that the teacher had opened a case against the child on May 7, which he withdrew on May 14.
Hope Mokgatlhe, national education spokeswoman, said: "We cannot suspend him based on the allegations against him."
The child's sister denied that she made up the rape claim.
"How could a child make up such a lie? It was not a good environment for her to study and we have decided that it would be better if she stayed at home. We'll look for another school next year," she said.
Lisa Vetten, a researcher and policy analyst for the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, said: "The department must ask themselves if they are acting in the child's interest, and clearly they are not.
"There has to be a better balance struck between the child's rights and the teacher's. Waiting for the judicial process, which could take years, could jeopardise the child's future. - email@example.com