The Gauteng department of education (GDE) on Wednesday said that counselling would be provided to learners from the Soweto primary school, who were allegedly sexually assaulted by a school patroller.
“These allegations are indeed disturbing. We are actually disappointed,” Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi said in a statement.
The 57-year-old school patroller allegedly sexually assaulted 54 learners.
“The teams will ensure that the intervention is conducted in line with the prescripts of the Children’s Act, Sexual Offenses Act and Child Protection Protocols,” the department said.
The department said a case had been opened at the Orlando Police Station, and the patroller was arrested on October 9. His services were terminated with immediate effect.
“It must be note that officials are currently at the school to establish the facts around the incident, however, it is alleged that the patroller sexually assaulted about 54 learners.”
The department said they had a zero-tolerance stance on allegations of sexual assault and had never hesitated on acting where allegations of this nature were proven true.
“We encourage learners never to listen to anybody who tells them not to tell, for fear of victimization. Learners must report such incidents to their parents, police or any other trusted figure of authority, so that necessary action can be taken accordingly,” it said.
“We can confirm that the screening of Scholar Patrollers is conducted by the Department of Community Safety, it is important noting that an investigation on the appointment of this scholar patroller has been launched thereof.”