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By Mary Papayya | Jan 19, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

ONE of the five Makhumbuza High School teachers being investigated has been struck off the teacher's roll and will not be able to teach in South Africa or abroad.

The teacher, whose name has not been made public, was on a list of teachers being investigated by the South African Council for Educators.

The probe followed allegations of sexual encounters with pupils, which surfaced in April last year.

The council said charges against the other four teachers were dropped owing to a lack of evidence.

The five teachers were suspended in April last year after allegations that they slept with pupils in the school's laboratory.

About 13 pupils pressed charges of sexual harassment against the teachers and one teacher was arrested.

A departmental internal investigation had earlier found four of the teachers not guilty of sexual harassment and withdrew the charges against the fifth teacher after one pupil failed to attend the hearings.

Yesterday council spokesperson Rej Brijraj said the teacher was found guilty of gross sexual abuse.

He said in the interest of fair judicial procedures he could not confirm or deny that the blacklisted teacher was the same as the person in court.

He said the council's investigation had been independent of criminal cases.

"The council concluded that the teacher is a serial abuser," Brijraj said.

"He has been struck off the teachers' roll indefinitely. He may never teach in any part of the world we have a relationship with."

He said the public could also approach the authorities to ban the teacher from any profession dealing with children, even those outside teaching.

He said six girls had testified against the teacher.

"There could be more victims," Brijraj said.

"The other four teachers were found not guilty since we could not secure sufficient evidence of witnesses for a successful prosecution.

"We had no choice but to conclude a not guilty finding. But we are keeping a close eye on them and the school."

He warned that if further evidence came to light they would reopen the case.

"A number of pupils involved have left the school, with some having gone to tertiary institutions. They could not be contacted," Brijraj said.


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