13 October 2017
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) has noted with utter disgust reports that a 57-year-old guard at a school in Soweto was arrested for allegedly sexually molesting 83 school girls. As a Union representing teachers and education worker, we find it unpalatable that those tasked with ensuring that the school environment is safe for teaching and learning can be the ones alleged to be doing the direct opposite.
SADTU has always called on its members and teachers in general to desist from engaging in inappropriate sexual relations with our learners, let alone violating them in any form because they assume a parental role within the school environment. Furthermore, our code of conduct as an organisation makes it clear that anyone found guilty of such acts will have their membership automatically withdrawn from the Union.
We are disappointed that these rape reports have emerge a few weeks after we had a successful march in Soweto against gender based violence in our communities and in our schools. We are disgusted that 83 school girls were exposed to what is clearly a prolific paedophile within the school environment, an environment that is supposed to be a safe sanctuary for the learners.
We demand justice for the 83 school girls and many others across the country because a society that cannot protect its own children is bound to be doomed. Not only do we demand the immediate removal of this individual from the school but we want criminal charges to be laid and for him to spend the rest of his living days behind bars.
We are calling on communities and parents to take charge of schools and to expose such individuals without any fear or favor. Let us take a stand and say no to any form of violence in our schools. Our future as a country depends on the decisions and actions we take today.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157