Reiger Park parents and community leaders are finding it hard to believe that the Reiger Park Secondary School principal, who is at the centre of a sex scandal involving learners and staff, is the same man many parents had such confidence in, Boksburg Advertiser reports.
They said the principal was most supportive in helping many people, was someone many looked up to, and presented a good image in public, but all of this is now for nothing.
One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed that the women involved in the sex scandal included staff members, learners and department of education officials.
He said a small group of parents protested outside the school on Friday last week (January 26), demanding to speak to the principal after the videos and pictures started to make their rounds on social media.
A video, provided by this resident to the Advertiser, shows the principal emerging from the school building and proceeding to the crowd protesting at the school gate. He speaks to the crowd and is then seen driving out of the school gate in his car.
“He addressed them and denied any wrongdoing,” said the source. “He told the parents that the videos and pictures they saw had been digitally manipulated, claiming that somebody he knows had plotted all this against him, and further assured them that the matter is being investigated by experts.”
One of the affected learners has reportedly stopped going to school after the video of her and the principal engaging in sexual acts, with their faces visible, emerged on social media.
Hundreds of Reiger Park residents marched to Reiger Park Secondary School yesterday (January 29) to deliver a memorandum of demand, with some calling for the harshest action to be taken against the school’s principal.
Teaching and learning was not disrupted during the protest.
Videos and photos of the principal and learners in compromising positions were recently leaked on social media, including the Reiger Park Community News Facebook page, sparking a massive public outcry.
Now, parents are demanding answers and have asked the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) to launch an in-depth investigation into the matter, saying the principal has violated the South African Council of Educators’ (SACE’s) Code of Conduct and committed statutory rape.
The GDE’s chief director for the Ekurhuleni district, Ephraim Tau, accepted the memorandum from the marchers.
Residents also want the current school governing board to be disbanded, all affected learners to be assisted, and security measures such as the installation of security cameras in classrooms, and the vetting of staff members, to be upgraded at all schools in Gauteng.
Addressing the crowd during the protest, Tau said the department has a zero tolerance stance against sexual assault on learners, and that an investigation into the Reiger Park Secondary matter is under way.
He added the principal has already resigned, so he is no longer an employee of the department.
Tau promised that his department would give residents feedback within seven days. The department is still trying to determine how many children were affected and if any other staff members were involved in the sexual abuse of learners.
He asked parents to encourage their children to come forward with information and to report any form of abuse meted out to them by teachers.
Tau assured parents that the department would assist the abuse victims and their families. He said they will also report the principal of Reiger Park Secondary to the SACE and request that he be struck of the roll with immediate effect.
“We are with you,” Tau said. “We are as disappointed as you are and we share the same feelings. We are going to give this matter the utmost attention we can.
“Although we are also suspicious that there are other people involved, the information we have so far implicates one person, but whatever information you have, bring it to us so that those people can be investigated as well.”
Tau gave parents his cellphone number and confirmed that the deputy principal of the school, Raymond Takana, has since been appointed as the acting principal.
‘Down with animals that prey on our children’
MMC for Human Settlements Lesiba Mpya also joined the march by the Reiger Park community on Monday and addressed the crowd.
“The reality is that what we may have seen on videos might not be the real picture of what is happening in the school,” Mpya said. “It might be that there are some unrecorded instances where our children are actually prey to this animal or animals.
“It might be that there are a number of untold stories on a number of children who have been told to go to have back-street abortions, because of these animals.
“We are dealing with the phenomena of ‘blessers’ and as if this isn’t enough, we are also dealing with perverts in schools.
“The resignation of the principal is not enough,” Mpya said. “We want him struck off the roll and to never set foot in a classroom again. As a matter of fact, he is a danger to his own children.
“If a case is not already opened, I’m going to the police station to open a case of statutory rape. We cannot keep quiet when our children are being sodomised and molested in school, where we would have thought they are in a place of safety.
“We are also going to ask the teachers why they have been quiet all this time while they work with an animal. We are going to stand behind you up until we see this ‘gentleman’ and his co-conspirators behind bars.”
The march yesterday (January 29) kicked off with a meeting at the Reiger Park Civic Centre, where officials from the Department of Education were initially expected to receive a memorandum. Parents insisted, however, that they wanted to march to Reiger Park Secondary to deliver the memorandum.