Two days after a 14-year-old’s mother gave her a cellphone to gather evidence against a Free State teacher, she used it to record him propositioning her for sx.
The Welkom Preparatory School teacher was fired on Wednesday when the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) found him guilty of committing an act of sxual assault on a pupil.
ELRC panellist Shiraz Osman, who listened to the recording, said the mother’s decision to give her child a cellphone was “a great thought”.
The schoolgirl, referred to as ‘Ms X’ in the finding, testified that she was uncomfortable when the teacher whispered in her ear that he was “not going to penetrate her too much”.
The child told the panel the teacher was giving her a ride home in his car on a rainy day. She sat in the front passenger seat while two other children were in the back.
“Ms X further testified that she had relayed the incident to her mother, who had given her a cellular phone to record the educator. A great thought. I must admit,” said Osman.
Two days later, the girl recorded the teacher telling her they would take a drive, drink alcohol and kiss each other.
“The educator went on to tell the learner that he desired her lips because they looked like her vagina. He asked the learner for her cell number and that the other learners should not know about the discussion that was held,” said Osman.
“He gave Ms X his cellphone number and asked her not to repeat what he had discussed. When the learner asked the educator for clarity about what she should ‘give’ him, the educator indicated that she will give him her vagina.”
Osman accepted the girl’s testimony. “She appeared to be an honest and bright young lady. I am not persuaded that she would fabricate such a story. In any event she had had the conversation recorded,” he said.
The teacher did not attend the hearing but in a written statement he claimed the girl asked him for alcohol.
“He suggested that the learner had asked him if he would expect some sxual ‘payment’. Seemingly, the educator has a fabricated version,” said Osman
“It is evident that the learner had been sxually assaulted by the educator. The sequence of events was corroborated by all the witnesses. There is nothing to suggest that any of these witnesses had indeed fabricated any of their testimonies.”
Osman ordered the teacher’s immediate dismissal.