NEWS & ANALYSIS

Lesufi fails to act against teacher accused of raping orphan – AfriForm

Organisation says their Private Prosecution Unit had to put pressure on the MEC and well as SAPS after the incident

Private Prosecution Unit intervenes after Lesufi’s failure to act against teacher accused of raping orphan 

26 June 2019

AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit placed pressure on Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC, as well as the SAPS after no steps were initially taken against a teacher of the Aha-Thuto Secondary School that allegedly raped a 14-year-old school girl. The teacher was (according to sources at the school) removed from the schoolgrounds and the police is now investigating the charge against him.

Angel Ndaba, Chairperson of the school’s governing body, and Philemon Ndaba, Chairperson of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), approached the Private Prosecution Unit after allegations of rape against one of the male teachers from the school fell on deaf ears. This follows after a meeting in which the district officials indicated that they would be referring the case to the district department of education for further investigation.

According to sources at the school, the district official that failed to investigate the matter and take steps against the relevant teacher, was in the meantime also demoted – thanks to continuous pressure by AfriForum.

A rape case was already opened at the police against the relevant teacher in September 2018. According to Andrew Leask, Investigator at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, there is however no sense of urgency among the investigating officer to start with the investigation. “This alleged offence is regarded in a very serious light, seeing as an underaged child is involved and the police is especially tasked with protecting vulnerable groups such as women and children. The fact that both the police and the provincial department of education are failing to act is a horrible negligence of their duties and that is why AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit decided to intervene in the matter. The police cannot be selective with the prosecution of suspects.”

The Gauteng Department of Education immediately took steps when allegations of sexual assault against a teacher of Bryanston High School surfaced earlier this year. “Why doesn’t Lesufi act with the same diligence against the offender when the victim is an orphan from a rural school? Lesufi’s trend to only become involved with issues where he can enjoy media attention is to the detriment of the most vulnerable learners that are really in need of his attention and devotion,” says Carien Bloem, AfriForum’s Project Coordinator for Education.

Issued by Hesti Steenkamp, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 26 June 2019