08 December 2022 – LRC welcomes investigation into alleged ring of predatory teachers

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08 December 2022

LRC welcomes investigation into alleged ring of predatory teachers

The Legal Resources Centre welcomes the investigation launched by the South African Police Service (SAPS) into an alleged ring of predatory teachers and other staff members at elite schools across the country. The investigation comes in the wake of the podcast ‘My Only Story’ identifying a number of sports coaches who groom and abuse pupil at elite schools.

Educator and other school staff sexual misconduct have wide-ranging consequences for learners’ physical and psychological well-being, school performance and attendance. Schools are meant to be places of safety for learners. Instead, they have become one of the places where learners are most vulnerable to abuse. The sexual abuse of pupils goes far beyond sports coaches at elite schools; it happens in school across the board and in all provinces.

South Africa has a comprehensive legislative framework that seeks to protect pupils and place obligations on educators and other school staff members from sexual misconduct. However, school staff members often decide not to report instances of sexual misconduct against pupils to SAPS, district education offices, and the South African Council of Educators (SACE), despite this being mandatory. Teachers, school staff members, and parents are obligated to report any reasonable belief that a child has been abused. Pupils often do not feel safe to report sexual abuse by staff members due to fear of not being believed or as a result of thinking that the perpetrator will not be punished.

If you are a learner who has experienced or think you have experienced sexual abuse, or if you are a concerned parent or educator, the Legal Resources Centre can assist you. For assistance or more information, please contact Charlene Kreuser at charlene@lrc.org.za.