Guard arrested for 'touching' pupils' private parts

Man has been arrested for sexually harassing about 54 primary schooll pipuls at AB Xuma primry school at Orlando,Soweto. / Veli Nhlapo
Man has been arrested for sexually harassing about 54 primary schooll pipuls at AB Xuma primry school at Orlando,Soweto. / Veli Nhlapo

Infuriated parents of more than 50 pupils at AB Xuma Primary School in Soweto have accused the school of attempting to cover up alleged incidents of sexual harassment levelled against the school's security guard.

Details of these emerged after pupils from the Orlando East school told their parents that they had been touched inappropriately by a 56-year-old man stationed at the school as a patroller. The guard was suspended before the end of the previous school term.

A parent of a Grade 2 pupil yesterday told Sowetan that she came to know of the incident after she overheard her child and friends talking about it.

"When I asked her what it is that she was not telling me, she responded by saying that 'Mkhulu' hit them. But later at night she told me that the same Mkhulu was touching them on their private parts."

Another parent said her Grade 7 child developed a bladder problem but she could not understand where it stemmed from. "After confronting her, she told me it's because Mkhulu has been inserting his fingers into her vagina.

"She said he would also tell other children that they are beautiful and sexy."

A parent of a Grade 4 pupil said: "My child said he [the guard] would give them his phone and touch them while they played with it."

Police spokesman Captain Nomvula Mbense said the suspect was apprehended on Monday and would appear in court soon on charges of sexual assault. She said police received a list of 54 pupils the guard allegedly harassed.

The department of education said it considered the conduct of the patroller "disturbing".

"... it is important to note that an investigation on the appointment of this patroller has been launched thereof," said spokesman Steve Mabona.

The school governing body did not want to comment on the allegations.

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