Affair haunts teacher

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Twenty three years after having an affair with a pupil Mmothi Molefe is still feeling the Education Department's wrath.

Molefe had a relationship with a 19-year-old student at Meadowlands High School, Soweto, in 1982 He was an English teacher at the school.

He told the principal about the affair and though he had paid lobolo for the girl, he was suspended for three months. The couple never married.

"At the end of the three months I was transferred to Thesele High School in White City," Molefe says.

"I resigned to take up a position as a deputy principal at the AB Phokompe Senior Secondary School in Mohlakeng.

"I was demoted a year later because I had apparently been dismissed from my previous job.

"That never happened. Instead I received a telegram informing me that I was dismissed.

"I contested it with my lawyer and it was found that you cannot dismiss a teacher with a telegram."

Gauteng education spokesman Nanagolo Leopeng denied that Molefe was ever demoted or charged for his affair.

"It would appear that this is a case from the pre-1994 dispensation," Leopeng said.

"At the time teachers did not fall within the scope of the Labour Relations Act of 1956 and the current situation, under which he would be dismissed for having such a relationship with a pupil, did not exist."