MEC: School must apologise after reports of sexual assault

MEC for education in gauteng Panyaza Lesufi. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

MEC for education in gauteng Panyaza Lesufi. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The management of Jordao College must write a letter of apology to parents of girl pupils at the school, the Gauteng education department said on Monday.

“The MEC for education, Mr Panyaza Lesufi, has instructed the school management of Jordao College to write a letter of apology to parents of Grade 10 to 12 girl learners at the school,” said spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane in a statement. She said this followed reports of alleged sexual harassment at the school last week. 

“It is alleged that female learners at the school were checked by teachers for sexual activity after a cleaner found a bloodied condom in the girls’ toilet”. She said the school agreed to apologise to South Africans. “We agreed in the meeting that we need to apologise unreservedly to South Africans. We believe it’s very important to respect the dignity of our learners,” said Sekhonyane. 

Lesufi said this was not the way to treat girls. “This is not the way to treat girl children, we will protect their rights.” 

Lesufi instructed that all the information presented to him during the meeting be handed over to the South African Human Rights Commission. “They are better positioned to investigate matters of this nature, so when they give us a report of their findings, then I will take action.”

A team of counsellors have been stationed at the school to provide counselling services to the affected children. “If there are parents that feel their children need additional support we will take care of them. I really believe that what happened here is unacceptable and the dignity of our learners cannot be undermined,” said Lesufi. He also visited Westbury primary to inspect work under way after reports of power cuts and water problems at the school.
– Sapa

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