The KZN MEC of Education, Kwazi Mshengu, has acted swiftly after allegations of sexual harassment against a Grosvenor Girls High School teacher surfaced last week and called for an immediate investigation into the matter while the teacher was placed on suspension.
Pandemonium broke out at the school after pupils and parents strongly protested for the teacher to be removed from the school.
They were vociferous in their call for his removal. Mshengu dispatched a team of senior officials to the school to gather more details and investigate the matter upon learning about the disturbing allegations at the school which falls under the uMlazi district.
Spokesperson for the MEC, Kwazi Mthethwa, said, “MEC Mshengu did not waste time but immediately instructed that an internal investigation into sexual allegations at Grosvenor Girls High School should be conducted. The teacher has since been placed on suspension pending the investigation.
We view all allegations of sexual misconduct extremely seriously and will investigate all allegations rigorously. We would like to appeal to the complainants to avail themselves to provide any necessary evidence during the investigation,” MEC Mshengu said.
“Anyone who would be fingered to have committed any wrongdoing as it relates to these allegations, will be subjected to a harsh disciplinary action. The Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal will not tolerate sexual harassment or any other form of sexual abuse,” added Mshengu.
Meanwhile, Dr Imran Keeka, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson for Education said the Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal called on the province’s Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu to expedite the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at Grosvenor Girls’ High School.
“According to reports, the girls have claimed that despite having raised the matter with the school principal, they have been fobbed off. This in turn led to protest action outside the school. The DA is extremely concerned by these accusations. We are led to believe that officials from the department, as well as SAPS have visited the school. In terms of the department’s role, we urge KZN’s Education MEC to ensure that SAPS initiates a criminal investigation into the allegations, should there be any substance to the claims, and to ensure that the necessary corrective action is instituted without delay,” Keeka said.
Responding to the protest at the school, Keeka said, “While we acknowledge that tensions are running high, we wish to caution learners and the community at large that school property must always be respected and call on them to act within the law.
The DA will continue to monitor progress in terms of this probe in a bid to ensure that teaching and learning at the school are restored as a matter of urgency.”
Meanwhile, police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said, “On 26 July, 600 pupils at a school in Grosvenor disrupted classes after a 16-year-old pupil was allegedly assaulted. A case of assault was opened at Brighton Beach police station for investigation.”