GDE can’t suspend private school headmaster accused of rape

The department says it would be up to the school governing body to suspend the principal.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Department of Education says while it’s distraught over allegations of rape leveled against a headmaster by a pupil, it cannot call for the man's suspension as the school is a private institution.

Earlier this month the parent of a grade 11 pupil at the Hillbrow high school laid charges against the principal for allegedly raping her daughter.

The Education Department says it would be up to the school governing body to suspend the principal.

The department's Oupa Bodibe says while an investigation has been launched very little can be done to ensure the suspension of the principal because he is not an employee of the department.

“This is an independent school so we have no powers to suspend the principal only the board of governance of that school [does].”

He says if the allegations are true the man will have to go through disciplinary processes even if the pupil is over the age of 16.

“Remember by law we forbid educators and learners to have sexual relationships even if they are consensual, that is wrong.”

Bodibe says although there have been reports of the man confessing to having had sexual relations with the pupil, nothing has been said to the department on record.

(Edited by Neo Koza)