Found guilty of gross misconduct

Riot Hlatshwayo

A Mpumalanga teacher suspended in May for having sex with a 16-year-old pupil, has now been fired.

The Mpumalanga Department of Education sent the teacher a letter last week informing him of his dismissal.

Hlahla Ngwenya, the department's spokesman, said the teacher had been fired with immediate effect following a disciplinary hearing that found him guilty of gross misconduct.

The 35-year-old man still faces charges of rape later this month

The teacher at Frank Maginyana High School in Ludlow village near Thulamahashe, taught history from grade 10 to 12 and English to grade 11..

"The teacher was fired with immediate effect and the department believes the expulsion would send a lesson to others who might think of doing the same," said Ngwenya.

He had been on suspension with full pay since May 7 following his arrest by the Mhala police on statutory rape charges.

He was arrested after the girl's father laid charges against him shortly after he had allegedly admitted to sleeping with her.

The teacher allegedly told the girl's family he could not have impregnated her since they had used condoms during their sexual liaisons.

A temporary teacher has now been appointed permanently in his position.

The teacher is out on R1000 bail and is expected to appear before the Mhala magistrate court on August 31.

Meanwhile, Thomas Khoza, the school principal, simultaneously suspended, has since returned to work.

The two men were suspended following allegations that they kept a mattress in the staff room for the alleged sex romps with the pupils.

The department uplifted Khoza's suspension on July 31, but emphasised he was not off the hook yet since investigations against him were continuing.

Ngwenya told Sowetanthe suspension period had expired and it was "safe" for Khoza to return to work because investigators had finished taking statements from witnesses.