A 33-year-old teacher from a Catholic school in a large Western Cape town has been suspended after allegedly raping a 13-year-old pupil of the school earlier this month.
Const. Provincial police spokeswoman Felicia Adams says the man was arrested Feb. 19 on a charge of raping the girl on Feb. 12.
Eric Ntabazalila, spokeswoman for the Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority, said the man appeared in the village on Friday and was charged with a Schedule 6 violation, namely the rape of a minor. The case was postponed to February 27 as more information is needed for his bail application. The state opposes bail.
Father John Atkinson, administrator of the diocese of Oudtshoorn, which includes the school in question, says they are “shocked to hear of allegations of child abuse” against a teacher of this school.
“It is a public school built on private property. The diocese owns the building, but the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is in charge of the school, ”says Atkinson.
He says the diocese is committed to the safety of the children. According to him, child abuse or any form of abuse has no place in society.
“The law has to go its way and we fully support the governing body that the suspect will not be allowed to teach while the investigation is ongoing.”
WCAG Head of Communications Bronagh Hammond said the allegations against the teacher were “terribly alarming and disturbing”.
“We can only confirm that the governing body appointed the teacher, and that his contract was suspended early last week,” Hammond says.