Limpopo Transport and Community Safety MEC, Mavhungu Lerule Ramakhanya, has urged other victims of abuse to break the silence.

He was reacting to the arrest of a 50-year-old Mbilwi Secondary School educator who is accused of repeatedly raping a learner in 2018.

The man will appear before the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court on Monday for three counts of rape.

Departmental Spokesperson, Michael Maringa, says they are against bail.

“Harsh penalties must be imposed on perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide. The MEC has condemned the sexual abuse of the leaner by someone who was supposed to guide and protect her, she is lobbying for the perpetrator to remain locked until the end of the trial,” says Maringa.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for the immediate suspension of the teacher.

Spokesperson of the Department of Education in Limpopo, Tidimalo Chuene, says they have noted the arrest and will comment later about the developments.

Discussion on psychological and physical impact of rape:

The Limpopo teacher allegedly violated the 17-year-old school girl three times in 2018. He was arrested on Friday after the Human Rights Commission opened a case against him. The girl approached the commission and disclosed what happened.

The alleged rape started after the educator promised to help the learner with Geography lessons.

The first and second encounters took place at a lodge at Makhado several kilometres from the school.

Police say the third occasion happened after the teacher picked her up after school and promised to drop her off at her home but instead drove to his house where he again committed the act.

The manager of the South African Human Rights Commission in Limpopo, Victor Mavhidula, has confirmed the victim approached the commission for assistance. He says they hope that justice will be served.

“As the Human Rights Commission, we can confirm that we received information from one of the victims and we followed up on the information and the we decided that this matter should be referred to the police,” he says.

Police Spokesperson, Motlafela Mojapelo says the alleged perpetrator threatened the victim not to tell anyone about the ordeal. He even offered to pay her R30 000, which she refused.

Last month, Mbilwi Secondary dominated news headlines when a 15-year-old grade 10 leaner Lufuno Mavhunga was bullied and assaulted by a 14-year-old. Mavhunga committed suicide hours later.

The assault case against the teenager is before court.