Judgement in Valhalla teacher’s bail application expected on Thursday

School pupils
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The Pretoria Magistrates’ Court will, on Thursday morning, give judgement in the bail application of a school teacher accused of sexually assaulting more than 20 learners. The male teacher, from a primary school in Valhalla, faces 24 charges of sexual assault, common assault and crimen injuria.

His alleged victims are between the ages of 10 and 14 years old.

The 55-year-old teacher stood for more than an hour listening to the arguments in his bail application. The state opposed bail, while the defence argued it would be in the interest of justice to grant him bail. The civil society movement, Not In My Name also attended the bail hearing.

Spokesperson for the movement, Themba Masango, says public outrage surrounding the case will put the accused at risk if bail is granted.

“We don’t want the situation where we have the public and communities out there taking the law into their own hands. It’s not a veiled threat. It’s a genuine call because, as you know, over 200 parents singed a petition to say the man should not come back and he should be kept in until the trial is set. We’ve got civil organisation also enraged about what happened. We don’t want a situation like we had in Mamelodi last week.”

Masango added that children will be put at risk if bail is granted.

“We feel that it would not be right for him to be integrated into society with such a major cloud hanging over his head. We all know that a country that cannot take care of its children is country that does not have a future at all. So, we need to make sure to protect these children with all that is within us and it is the duty of the court to make sure that they deal with this case as venomously as possible to the accused.”

The teacher was suspended from the school shortly before his arrest.