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Teacher may face criminal charges

Department won’t say how a teacher who took a student to get his penis pierced will be dealt with.

FILE: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga fields questions from reporters on education in Cape Town, Tuesday, 26 February 2013. In the background is Deputy Higher Education and Training Minister Mduduzi Manana. Picture: GCIS/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - The Basic Education Department on Friday declined to comment on reports that a Pretoria teacher who allegedly took a student to have his penis pierced could face criminal charges.

The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools said the school's management could take steps against the teacher, which could include a charge of assault.

The department's spokesman Gershwin Chuenyane recently confirmed the incident and said the teacher has been suspended pending a disciplinary process.

He however refused to be drawn on claims that the matter could be referred for criminal prosecution.

"Can't get involved where it's the police, we cannot comment on that. But we can confirm the allegations and he is suspended. The Student Governing Body is dealing with the matter."

The department said it has a low tolerance for sexual offences involving minors and is viewing this in a very serious light.

No further details about the incident are available and it's unclear whether the teenager had parental consent or what the nature of the relationship is between the pupil and the teacher.