By Thys Khiba
Welkom – The Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) on Wednesday has found the Welkom Preparatory School school educator guilty of committing an act of sexual assault on a learner.
This is after a 14-year-old’s mother gave her daughter a cellphone to gather evidence against a Free State teacher; she used it to record him propositioning her for sex.
According to Shiraz Osman, ELRC panelist, who had a chance to listen to the recording, confirmed that it was “a great thought” that the mother decided to give her child a cellphone.
“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.
The victim, who is pronounced as ‘Ms X’ in the finding, testified that she was uncomfortable when the educator whispered in her ear that he was “not going to penetrate her too much.”
Sharing her side of the story with the ELRC panel, the schoolgirl indicated that the teacher was giving her a ride home in his car on a rainy day. The child told them that she sat in the front passenger seat while two other children were in the back.
After at least two days, the schoolgirl recorded her 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.”
According to Osman, the schoolgirl appeared to be an honest and bright lady as she was testifying.
“I am not persuaded that she would fabricate such a story. In any event she had had the conversation recorded,” said Osman.
In a written statement by the teacher who couldn’t attend the hearing, the educator shared that the learner asked him for alcohol.
“He suggested that the learner had asked him if he would expect some sexual ‘payment’. Seemingly, the educator has a fabricated version,” said Osman.
“It is evident that the learner had been sexually 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.”
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