A school security
guard has been accused of sexually assaulting 54 girls at a primary school in
Soweto in Johannesburg.
A school security guard has been accused of sexually assaulting 54 girls at a primary school in Soweto in Johannesburg.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says he's deeply worried, as the horror had been reported to the department seven months after it first came to light.
"It looks like this thing started as early as February this year and only reported in September. Upon investigation it was established that 54 learners across all grades, from Grade R to Grade 7, have been victims," he says.
The MEC says he has called on the police to prioritise the investigation.
"It's 54 learners at one school so it's a very serious matter. The police have agreed to elevate the matter."
Lesufi says he's disgusted that it took so long for the school management to report the matter to the department.
"I am not happy at all. I am disgusted. If we had followed up on the hints from learners in February, who knows, we might have been able to limit the impact."
An investigation has been launched into possible negligence.
"I have asked my senior managers to investigate and determine who is responsible for this and who was negligent. There is no way you can have a matter reported in February and only act at the end of September," he laments.
Lesufi says the affected learners at the school in Orlando East are receiving the necessary counselling.
The suspect appeared in the Protea North Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
He has been remanded into custody until 18 October, when he is expected to apply for bail.
Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona says the suspect was arrested after a case was opened by two pupils on Monday.
The children are in Grade 2 and Grade 6.
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