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No criminal charge for penis-piercing teacher

The teacher took three teenage boys to have ‘Prince Albert’ piercings.

The teacher was dismissed last week following a School Governing Body sanctioned investigation and a CCMA pre-dismissal arbitration.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News understands the Pretoria school which fired a teacher for taking three teenage boys to have their penises pierced will not pursue laying criminal charges against the teacher.

The Willowridge High School teacher was dismissed last week following a School Governing Body (SGB) sanctioned investigation and a Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) pre-dismissal arbitration.

An initial complaint was laid against the teacher with the Education Department in October last year. In February, a four-member investigating team was appointed by the governing body.

A decision was taken for a CCMA pre-dismissal arbitration to be held in order to protect the students from having to testify twice should the hearing go to an appeal. The teacher was represented by a lawyer during the hearings, as was the SGB.

While the investigating panel did look at the possibility of laying criminal charges against the teacher, a decision was taken not to pursue this avenue as the case would not be winnable.

The teacher, whose name is known to Eyewitness News , was found guilty on three of the eight charges leveled against him. This included the charge that he took three teenage boys to have 'Prince Albert' piercings and that he had his own penis pierced in front of the youngsters.

The boys were fifteen, seventeen and eighteen at the time of the incident last year. It's understood the piercings were done at a private residence in Centurion.

The teacher was also found guilty of taking the youngest boy to have a tattoo done. A photograph on the teenager's Facebook page shows the adult watching on at the tattoo parlour as the artist inks the boy's body.

The teacher, who is a member of a well-known Afrikaans folk band, was further convicted of giving some of his students penis-shaped pasta and allowing them to bunk classes.

The SGB has confirmed that the teacher, who is an SGB employee, was dismissed last week.

Chairman Stefano Bruni says the CCMA was called in to manage the process.

"The disciplinary was handled as a pre-dismissal arbitration by the CCMA and the outcome of the pre-dismissal was guilty on certain charges. The recommendation of sanction was dismissal and the educator is no longer at the school," confirmed Bruni.

Gauteng Education Department spokesperson Gershwin Chuenyane says he will comment on this development today.

When Eyewitness News first revealed that the teacher was on suspension in August, Chuenyane welcomed the action taken by the governing body.

"The department can confirm that the allegations exist and that the teacher is suspended. We view them in a very serious light because the department has a zero tolerance on sexual offences involving minors. We are pleased that the SGB took action. He is an SGB-paid teacher," he said.

However, one parent with inside knowledge of the case says she is extremely concerned about the teacher's behavior as it demonstrates possible 'grooming of broken-winged, vulnerable children'.

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