'My principal is a sex pest'

A Soweto primary school teacher is accusing her principal of changing her work position after she had spurned his sexual advances.

The same principal allegedly pocketed R60000 from another teacher who had been overpaid, under the pretence he would return the money to the Gauteng department of education.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) Eldorado Park branch has called for the principal, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to be removed from his position.

Recently, the Sadtu branch marched to the Johannesburg central D14 district to demand the principal's suspension for sexual harassment and fraud.

The DA had earlier also brought the allegations against the headmaster to the provincial legislature, demanding answers from MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

The letter of demands the union presented to the district director, Tshepo Seate, bemoans the "snail's pace" in dealing with the issue.

"[We are calling for] immediate removal or suspension of Mr [name withheld] from the school, like you did to . [another local principal] who committed a minor offence . We are requesting you to practise a history of consistency."

In the letter Sadtu expresses concern that the accused principal would tamper with the investigation by influencing staff to support him if he remains unsuspended.

According to the union, the female teacher laid a complaint in January against the headmaster for moving her from foundation phase to intermediate phase, without being properly consulted. She said the move happened because she refused to have sex with him.

Sowetan has also seen the letter that the teacher wrote to the district asking for intervention.

"I feel I am being ill-treated by the principal because I did not want to sleep with him," reads the letter.

About the fraud, the union alleges the principal claimed payment for a teacher he said was appointed in April, whereas the teacher started working at the school in August.

"At the end of September 2015 an amount of R77000 was paid to [the teacher] and he informed [the principal] about the money as he was surprised. Out of that money [the principal] took R60000 and claimed that he is taking it back to the department," Sadtu said.

In a reply to the DA in the legislature about the sexual harassment allegations, Lesufi said the department was still investigating after receiving the matter in January.

Lesufi said arrangements to recover the R60000 from the teacher who was overpaid was at an advanced stage.

Acting spokesman for the department Oupa Bodibe said they were investigating why the teacher's salary was backdated to April though he started work in August.

"No money was given to the principal; [we have] made an arrangement with the educator to repay the money on monthly instalment."

 

macupeb@sowetan.co.za

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