Classroom scandal report awaited

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

The Mpumalanga education department has launched an investigation into allegations that more than 10 teachers were having "love affairs" with their pupils at Soshangane High School.

The school at Buyisonto near Thulamahashe is fast gaining prominence in the media for all the wrong reasons.

A teacher from the school, Elone Sibuyi, was shot dead minutes after he had robbed a Thulamahashe petrol station of about R5000 more than a year ago.

The teacher's death left many pupils he had taught stranded which affected their matric results that year.

However, the school recorded improved results last year as compared to 2006.

The pass rate for matriculants at the school last year was 70,8percent, a considerable improvement on the 2006 pass rate of 47,8percent.

The provincial education department's spokesman, Jasper Zwane, yesterday said that the department had appointed Ben Mkhabela, the deputy director of labour relations in the department, to head the inquiry into sex allegations at the school.

Mkhabela and other departmental investigators had visited the school after Sowetan published a story about the sex allegations, Zwane said.

But he refused to divulge their findings.

"The head of department is still waiting for a written report from the investigators before we can divulge what the findings were.

"This is a sensitive matter," said Zwane.

Sowetan, however, has it on good authority that the departmental investigators found that four teachers were directly involved in sexual relationships with their pupils.

One of the teachers allegedly impregnated a girl and paid for her abortion while another is said to be seriously involved with a 15-year-old pupil.

Both the principal, Duzephi Sibuyi, and the chairman of the school governing body who only identified himself as Khoza, refused to comment.