Canaan Mdletshe

A pupil involved in the sex-for- money and alcohol scandal with teachers at Makhumbuza High School in Umlazi, south of Durban, has gone into hiding following alleged threats by one of the teachers accused of having sex with pupils inside the school's laboratory.

About 20 pupils are believed to have been involved in sexual encounters with the teachers in exchange for cash and booze.

Five of the teachers have since been suspended following the shocking revelations.

KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Ina Cronjé yesterday visited the school to make certain everything was in order.

Last week it emerged that teachers have been having multiple sexual engagements with pupils in exchange for cash and booze.

In some instances, pupils were offered R100 in exchange for sex.

Education officials at the school told Sowetan yesterday that one of the pupils has since been taken to another school because of intimidation and threats she has been getting since a group of girls, some as young as 14 years, came into the open about the abuse.

"She is in hiding because her life is in danger from one of the teachers embroiled in this scandal," said an official.

Cronjé told journalists that her visit to the school was merely to check how it was functioning since the surfacing of the allegations.

"It is my duty to ensure that the school functions normally.

"The allegations are serious, and the suspension of five teachers would have an impact on the functioning of the school, which is why I had to come and see how things are going.

"There are a lot of teachers involved and potentially there could be a lot of pupils coming forward," she said.

Mlu Ntombela, Umlazi district circuit inspector, said that some of the teachers have already been replaced to ensure that pupils do not suffer while the investigations are continuing.

The suspended teachers were teaching mathematics, economics, English and HSS.

A member of the school governing body who refused to give his name said parents were extremely hurt by the allegations. "We are very concerned about what has been reported. We feel very bad about it.

"We only knew about it through the media, and we are shocked," he said.

One of the pupils who also spoke on condition of anonymity said more pupils would come forward.