The Gauteng department of education has, on Thursday confirmed that the number of AB Xuma primary school learners allegedly sexually assaulted by a scholar patroller has risen from 54 to 83.
It is alleged that the patroller abused the learners at the school based in Soweto earlier this month. He was arrested on October 9 and appeared at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on October 11.
He remains behind bars as his case was postponed to October 18.
The department has removed the principal and senior management at the school with immediate effect following the scandal.
“We will soon engage with the School Governing Body to establish reasons why they should not be dissolved. An independent body has been appointed to investigate all allegations levelled against the Principal and her Management.
“We remain grateful to all stakeholders especially the Teddy Bear Clinic and our Psycho Social Support Services. I am grateful that the department has prioritized this matter and we will leave no stone unturned,” said MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
The department has dispatched officials to the school to counsel the affected learners.
“We are satisfied with counselling the process conducted by a Multi-Discipline Team, made up of GDE officials, Departments of Social Development, Health and the Teddy Bear Clinic. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.
“We encourage learners never to listen to anybody who tells them not to tell, for fear of victimisation. Learners must report such incidents to their parents, police or any other trusted figure of authority, so that necessary action can be taken accordingly.” Panyaza said.