Pretoria – Politicians and social activists on Wednesday pleaded with parents, teachers, pupils and government to pull together to make schools safer.
This sentiment was made by concerned Anti-crime activists Yusuf Abramjee, DA councillor Ina Strijdom, EFF regional treasurer Obakeng Ramabodu and #NotInMyName secretary-general Themba Masango on Wednesday, after allegations that a 55-year-old male teacher had been touching girls aged between 10 and 13 inappropriately at Valhalla Primary School.
Masango arrived at the school with young activists to call on South Africans to do things differently this year.
Ramabodu arrived in the afternoon with fellow EFF councillors, Noko Manaka, Lebo Masoleng and Thamia Letlokoane.
They held a meeting with the school’s new principal.
Ramabodu said: “Although principals cannot suspend educators, we wanted assurance that the accused educator will be served with a letter not to report to work. These things cannot keep on happening.
“We cannot have a repeat of last year’s events where incidents of sexual assault were exposed. We need government to provide avenues for learners to talk. We need specialists like social workers and psychologists to visit schools at least once a week.
Abramjee said: “This matter came to my attention around 6pm yesterday, and I immediately called MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi who is in Cuba on other important work.
“He started making calls and made sure the ball was rolling, and this morning (yesterday the educator was told not to report to work. We cannot keep dealing with these kinds of disturbing incidents.”
Masango said schools, like churches, had become scary places for today’s society, while they were places meant to be safe and friendly. He said all investigations should be done in the correct manner.