A 55-year-old teacher who is facing 24 counts of sexual assault, allegedly performed inside the Valhalla Primary School in Pretoria, has been released on R8 000 bail on Thursday. The decision was made by the City Magistrate’s Court that found the accused had no contact with the pupils or school after having been suspended.
His next appearance in the court is scheduled to March 7. Until then the police will continue to investigate the circumstances behind the case, interviewing children possibly harmed by teacher’s actions.
However, the provincial education department expresses dissatisfaction with the latest development:
“As the department, we are obviously devastated. We really believe that it [suspect’s release] would put the lives and the evidence of the 20 learners at risk. We have got confidence in the justice system,” MEC for Gauteng Education Panyaza Lesufi said.
The sexual assault cases were revealed in early January. According to the reports, the educator, who was hired in 2017, touched his pupils inappropriately for both consecutive years. The incidents were brought to light as the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) visited the school to talk to students about abuse.