Principal rapedme: pupil

THE Fundukhaliphe High School principal made a brief appearance in the Nongoma magistrate's court yesterday on double rape charges.

Themba Maphisa, 41, is accused of raping a Grade 11 pupil,who is a relative of his at his office in Dabhasi, KwaNongoma, northern Zululand, last week.

He was arrested on the school premises after the parents of the girl laid two charges against him.

After his arrest the provincial department of education acted swiftly and suspended him with immediate effect while internal investigations were continuing.

The court postponed the case to next Wednesday, when he is expected to make a formal bail application.

The school principal remains in police custody.

Speaking to Sowetan outside court yesterday the girl's mother said she hoped Maphisa would not be granted bail.

"I just pray to God and my ancestors that he will not get bail next time he appears in court because I don't know what had gone into his mind to do such a terrible thing to my child," she said.

The victim told Sowetan that she had gone to the school to clean up one of the classrooms since a church service was to take place the following day. She went with another member of her church, who is also a relative.

"He was teaching Grade 12 and sent them off soon after our arrival," she said. "He called me into his office, locked the door, put on a condom and raped me."

She said the suspect raped her for the first time in August and told her afterwards that he had not used a condom.

"Before that incident I was a virgin and he took that away from me," she said.

"After the first rape I was confused and too scared to tell my parents because he is a relative.

"But I went to him the next day and let him know that I did not like what he had done.

"He apologised and asked for my forgiveness."