Motshekga says almost 30 teachers fired for s.e.xually abusing learners

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has revealed an increase in the number of sex pest teachers over the last three years, with almost 30 teachers fired for s.e.xually abusing learners.

The teachers had been probed by the South African Council of Educators (Sace) after it received complaints of s.e.xual abuse cases against them.

Motshekga said during the 2019/20 financial year Sace was investigating 92 s.e.xual abuse cases against teachers.

This number increased in the following financial year where a total of 189 cases of s.e.xual abuses were reported by learners.

In the 2021/22 period the numbers further went up, as Sace probed 191 s.e.xual abuse cases in schools across the country.

Motshekga, who was replying to a written question from DA lawmaker Desiree van der Walt, said there were 17 teachers who were found guilty in 2019/20 for these crimes and were struck off the roll indefinitely.

During the following financial year seven teachers were found guilty of sexually abusing learners and also struck off the roll.

Motshekga said in the 2021/22 period four teachers were struck off the roll and three of these were having s.e.xual relationships with learners.

She said some of the cases against teachers were dropped for a number of reasons, including where witnesses failed to cooperate with investigations.

The Department of Basic Education has in the past raised this concern where learners refuse to testify against teachers for s.e.xually abusing them.

“There were no cases where no decision could not be arrived at, at any disciplinary hearing by the disciplinary tribunal. There were however, s.e.xual abuse cases that were closed for the following reasons: lack of evidence to substantiate the allegations, deliberate unavailability of witnesses (complainants) and refusal by witnesses to cooperate with the Sace investigation or disciplinary processes,” said Motshekga.


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