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'Sex' teachers to know fate soon

By Sne Masuku | Oct 02, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE four Makhumbuza High School teachers who were acquitted of sexual harassment charges by the KwaZulu-Natal department of internal investigations will only know their fate next month.

The South African Council of Educators (Sace) confirmed yesterday that it would release the findings of its part of the investigation in November.

The council's investigation into the conduct of the four teachers has been running concurrently with that of the department of education.

The department released its findings the investigation last week, acquitting four of the five teachers of sexual harassment charges. The fifth teacher will be charged with rape.

But the department said it would not lift the teachers' suspensions until the outcome of the Sace investigation.

The five were initially suspended in April after allegations that they had sex with the pupils at the school's laboratory in exchange for money and liquor.

Sace chief executive officer Rej Brijraj said yesterday the findings of their investigation would not be affected by the findings of the department's investigation.

Brijraj said unlike the department's investigation, in which the accused teachers were charged with sexual harassment and had to prove that they were not guilty of that charge, their probe would also look at their conduct to establish whether or not they had behavedunprofessionally.

"Our decision might be completely different from that of the department.

"Our decision will not in any way be influenced by the findings of either the criminal justice system or that of the department's own internal investigation."

Asked about the punishment that might be meted to the teachers, Brijraj said blacklisting and or being struck off the teachers roll were options.

Local parents spokesperson Sbu Chili said yesterday: "Though the charges were not proved, we hope the Sace investigation will establish the truth about the professional conduct of the teachers, whom we trusted to teach our children."


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