'Principal raped me'

VICTIM: This Grade 11 pupil, aged 15, has laid two rape charges against a principal, who is also her cousin. Pic: THULI DLAMINI.  04/10/2009. © Sowetan.
VICTIM: This Grade 11 pupil, aged 15, has laid two rape charges against a principal, who is also her cousin. Pic: THULI DLAMINI. 04/10/2009. © Sowetan.

THE KwaZulu-Natal department of education has said it would suspend the principal of Fundukhaliphe High School today after his arrest for allegedly raping a 15-year-old pupil in his office.

THE KwaZulu-Natal department of education has said it would suspend the principal of Fundukhaliphe High School today after his arrest for allegedly raping a 15-year-old pupil in his office.

Themba Maphisa, 41, was arrested last Thursday at the school in Dabhasi, KwaNongoma, after the parents of a Grade 11 pupil, who is also his cousin, laid two charges against him.

Maphisa appeared in the Nongoma magistrate's court on Friday. The case was postponed to Wednesday, when Maphisa is expected to make a formal bail application.

Department spokesperson Mbali Thusi said a letter of suspension would be issued today.

"This is serious seeing that criminal charges have been laid against him," Thusi said.

"We are suspending him immediately pending the outcome of the investigation. An internal investigation will be conducted. The child will also receive counselling."

Speaking to Sowetan at her home the pupil said the principal had called her into his office.

"He locked the door, put on a condom and raped me," she said.

The girl said that when the principal raped her the first time in August he did not use a condom.

"Before that first incident I was a virgin," she said. "After the first rape I was too scared to tell my parents because he is a relative of mine."

The girl's mother said she was unaware of the first rape. On hearing about it she said she was heartbroken because she had trusted Maphisa.

Sowetan learnt that "happily married" Maphisa is believed to have three more children with pupils and former pupils.

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