'Sex pest' teachers moved from school

FOUR teachers accused of having sexual relations with high school pupils, and the principal, have been temporarily removed from the school.

Pupils at the Mahlontebe Secondary School in Marble Hall, Limpopo, went on strike last week demanding the removal of the teachers after claims that they had sexual relationships with girls at the school.

No teaching and learning had taken place since schools reopened two weeks ago. Schooling resumed on Monday after the removal of the five, teachers and the school principal.

The department of education said yesterday that the affected teachers, including the principal, were reporting to the area's circuit offices since Monday.

Department spokesman Pat Kgomo said the decision was taken because the teachers were not safe at the school.

School governing body chairman Ephraim Chiloane blamed the department for the situation at the school , saying it failed to support the school.

"Had the department attended to these problems, this school would be mentioned in the same breath as those that produced excellent matric results last year".

Deputy president of the learners representative council Neo Masuku said matters came to a head last year after a Grade 11 pupil smashed a teacher's vehicle, accusing him of cheating on her, after she allegedly caught him having sex with her classmate.

Chiloane said the school was now running with a staff of 17 teachers.

"We are appealing to the provincial department of education to replace the (four) teachers as a matter of urgency or bring back those who had been chased away so that our children can continue learning".

Kgomo said the affected subjects would be allocated to other teachers with the necessary skill .

"It must be borne in mind that the cases these teachers are accused of remain allegations until proven otherwise.

They will therefore remain in the employ of the school," said Kgomo.

The South African Council of Educators, which visited the school yesterday, said learning and teaching continued at the school while officials from the council conducted their investigations.

"Teachers found to be bedding female pupils could be dismissed from the teaching profession for a period of five to eight years, depending on the circumstance of the offence.

"The investigations will take a while, but once we are done, we will release the results so that other teachers can learn from the Mahlontebe situation," Sace spokesman Themba Ndlovu said.