Two EC educators suspended for allegedly impregnating learners

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Two educators from Bonkolo Senior Secondary school in Dutywa in the Eastern Cape, have been put on precautionary suspension by the Department of Education. They are accused of impregnating learners at the school.

Many parents and the community are reeling with anger and shock due to the allegations.

Parents who attended a meeting at the school allege they came to know about these allegations only through social media. They were shocked to learn that the school governing body and teachers knew about the allegations for years. Reports have surfaced that this has been going on since 2012.

The latest pregnancy involves an 18-year-old learner who is allegedly impregnated by one of the suspended educators.  Parents and community members want the school management including the school governing body to account. They were even more concerned that the SGB did not even attend the meeting.

“All of us as parents we don’t know that. Who was handling this matter without the parents? The principal must come back. The teacher must come back and sit with the parents so that we must know what’s happening here at the school. We don’t know what’s happening,” a parent says.

“We take teachers as parents to our children. We also elect the SGB to play the role of parents with the hope of uniting them in building the school. We were shocked that a teacher impregnated a learner and we hate that,” another parent explains.

Complaints of misconduct of sexual nature

South African Council for Educators received 191 complaints of misconduct of a sexual nature by teachers on learners in the 2021/2022 financial year. 20 of those complaints were from the Eastern Cape.

The school also has a history of a high learner pregnancy rate. Last year alone, more than 20 learners were pregnant.

NGO’s are intervening and conducting awareness campaigns. The leader of the Mbhashe Teenage Pregnancy Forum, Nomvulo Ludonga claims this scourge is prevalent in many schools in the region.

“It is not only this Bonkolo Senior Secondary school that has this scourge of high pregnancy, teenage pregnancy rather. In all other schools, as a result we do have a forum here at Dutywa called Mbhashe teenage pregnancy forum whereby we targeted all those schools,” another parent elaborates.

The director of the children’s rights group Khule Community Development Trust, Petros Majola, is calling for the expulsion of the involved educators should they be found guilty.

“As per the provisions of Section 17 1c of the Employment of Educators Act, they cannot have any sexual relationships with the learners and therefore they have committed crime should they be found guilty. But at the same time I want to appeal to members of the community, learners and other people around the school community to allow the processes of investigation, not to say these educators are guilty until the process of investigation has been completed,” Majola reiterates.

Internal investigation

The Department of Education is conducting an internal investigation. The Provincial Department of Education spokesperson, Vuyiseka Mboxela confirms that two educators from the school have been suspended.

“There are two individuals that have been out on precautionary suspension in Bonkolo. Those two individuals is the school principal and also an educator for an investigation that is taking place. And we can also  indicate that the school will be visited by district officials and also will be visited by the labour side of the department to make sure that the needed information to continue with the investigation is found quickly and also to make sure that a determination will have been reached in no time,” says Mboxela.

No criminal case has been opened against the two educators.

VIDEO: Two educators suspended for allegedly impregnating pupils: