Johannesburg - Forty-five percent of teachers found guilty of sexual misconduct against pupils are still allowed to teach, according to a report on Friday.Read the news report (March 15) here.
The Star reported that this had been revealed by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in an oral reply to a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance.
Motshekga said 136 teachers were found guilty of sexual abuse-related cases between 2009 and 2012.
Of these, only 62 had been struck off the teachers' register.
The others were suspended for a certain period, on condition they were not found guilty of misconduct during their suspension.
Meanwhile a KwaZulu-Natal department of education official has accused parents of accepting bribes from sex pest teachers in exchange for having child sex abuse charges withdrawn.
Comment: How can the educational authorities from school level all the way up to the ministry of education allow convicted sex predators back into classrooms?
This is a grievous case of negligence and parents of students should sue the government for endangering their children.
It boggles my mind to even think that anyone, let alone those we entrust our young citizens to in schools across the country, can think it OK to allow a convicted sex predator back into any class, anywhere.
Surely we have reached a higher stage of consciousness than this, no?
In the US and elsewhere a convicted sex predator is not even allowed to be close to where schools are located - in fact, there is a registry for convicted sex predators and they have to be known even where they live in a suburb, for example.
That aside, we do have binding legislation that prohibits sex predators to teach again in any school anywhere in South Africa - See Section 17 of Employment of Educators Act 1998 which oversees issues of "serious misconduct" including sexual offenses; the relevant section reads:As I read it the governing authorities are grossly negligent and there is a need for accountability; heads need to role.
Are these terms unclear?17. (1) An educator must be dismissed if he or she is found guilty of:
(b) committing an act of sexual assault on a learner, student or other employee;
(c) having a sexual relationship with a learner of the school where he or she is employed;
Our kids deserve more than this crass level of incompetence - law abiding citizens deserve more than to live in a country where our most precious members are willfully endangered by authorities.
Another day and yet another example of just how messed-up things in South Africa are on the whole.
And we are not free.