The mother of a 10-year-old girl who was allegedly forced by a male teacher to give him money or be raped has accused the school of trying to influence her daughter to change her story.
The Grade 4 pupil's mother, who cannot be named to protect her daughter's identity, said: "She told me that the principal called her into her office on Thursday and told her to change the statement she made to the police.
"She wanted my daughter to now say that she hated the teacher and wanted to get back at him.
"She refused to do that. What makes me angry is that they questioned my daughter without my knowledge."
The girl has already been questioned by social workers, who found that her story was solid, said the mother.
The mother said when she called the school she was told the principal was busy. When she called again the phone was off the hook.
The 33-year-old teacher was on arrested Friday on charges of extortion and intimidation. He was held at the Bramley police station and is expected to appear in the Wynberg magistrate's court today.
The charge of extortion carries a minimum sentence of 15 years.
The teacher allegedly started demanding money from the girl before the winter school break. So far she has stolen at least R3200 of the family's burial scheme money to give to the teacher.
"I am happy that the teacher has been arrested, but I am worried about my daughter," the mother said.
"I am glad other children won't have to go through the same ordeal because of this man."
Inspector Moses Maphakela said: "It is unacceptable for the school to question the child. If it is true the principal will be charged with defeating the ends of justice."
Maphakela said he could not confirm whether the child was questioned by the principal.
The Gauteng education department's Nanagolo Leopeng said the department would not comment on the issue because it was in the hands of the police.