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11 teachers fired by Department of Basic Education over misconduct charges, including sexual offences against learners

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The council received 443 cases of misconduct against educators for the 2020/21 financial year.

In Mpumalanga, one teacher was removed from the Sace register for locking up a pupil in a storeroom. File Picture: Bheki Radebe/African News Agency

CAPE TOWN – A total of 11 teachers have been axed by the Department of Basic Education after they were found guilty of a range of charges, including sexual misconduct.

The South African Council of Educators (Sace) on Tuesday appeared before Parliament where it listed cases of misconduct against teachers.

The council received 443 cases of misconduct against educators for the 2020/21 financial year.

During the briefing to Parliament’s portfolio committee on education, Sace chief executive Ella Mokgalane broke down the figures per quarter since April 2020.

The top three categories of cases of professional and unethical misconduct against educators during the period under review included corporal punishment and assault; sexual misconduct, which included rape, indecent assault, sexual assault and sexual harassment; and verbal abuse or use of improper language, victimisation, harassment, defamation among other things.

The first quarter (April 2020 – June 2020) saw the council receive 42 complaints. This figure jumped to 106 cases of misconduct (July – September) and plummeted to 40 in the third quarter (October – December), while there 255 cases of misconduct in the fourth quarter.

The Sace report said that the ability to finalise cases had been impacted due to disruptions in the schooling system and lack of access to the children as witnesses in the main.

It said this escalated the number of roll-over cases.

Mokgalane gave a further breakdown of the 11 teachers removed from the Sace register per province, and indicated that five of these misconduct cases were linked to sexual misconduct which saw two Gauteng teachers, one Free State teacher, one North West teacher and one teacher from the Western Cape being fired.

Mpumalanga saw two cases of teachers being involved in severe assault of pupils, while one teacher was let go for the sexual harassment of a colleague in Gauteng.

Again in Mpumalanga, one teacher was removed from the Sace register for locking up a pupil in a storeroom.

Cape Times

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