HomeNewsEducationCape Town Teacher Found Guilty Of Grooming 14-Year-Old Girl

Cape Town Teacher Found Guilty Of Grooming 14-Year-Old Girl

The 14-year-old pupil testified under oath that Davids invited her via Instagram in mid-2021, and she accepted.

Cape Town Teacher Found Guilty Of Grooming 14-Year-Old Girl-SurgeZirc SA
Cape Town Teacher Found Guilty Of Grooming 14-Year-Old Girl

A former Wesfleur Primary School teacher in Atlantis, Cape Town who was accused of sexually grooming a senior phase student by allegedly requesting explicit pictures and videos from her via Instagram was found guilty and fired with immediate effect.

The teacher, identified in the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) arbitration award as LJ Davids, did not attend the hearing. Davids’ attorney, Zubin Naidoo, stated in a letter to the Council a few days before the proceedings that his client would be absent because he intended to resign.

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He said that this was not an admission of guilt, but that his participation in the proceedings would be detrimental to his preparations for a criminal case against him involving the pupil.

“Our client fails to see the rationale behind the intention of the (Western Cape Education Department) and its insistence on proceeding with the arbitration hearing,” he said.

However, Arbitrator Jacques Buitendag ruled that it was not unfair for the inquiry to continue in Davids’ absence, stating that the WCED provided Davids with an opportunity to be heard and defend himself.

The 14-year-old pupil testified under oath that Davids invited her via Instagram in mid-2021, and she accepted.

She claimed that Davids approached her in the school corridor and asked her to send naked pictures of herself.

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In another conversation, the student apparently sent a Tik Tok video of herself to Davids on October 22 at around 9:11 pm, showing an uncovered belly.

Davids responded that “I know you wanna send me more”.

“On October 28 the learner sent another Tik Tok video to Mr Davids with the words “No one. What should I send”. On October 29 Mr Davids responded with “Really??”. Then on October 30 the learner sent Mr Davids naked pictures of herself, exposing her breasts. The learner testified that she sent the pictures because Mr Davids was bothering her at school,” said Buitendag.

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She also stated that Davids asked her to send him something about her “under parts,” but she refused.

Under oath, the pupil’s mother testified that this was discovered after the pupil’s sibling discovered the Instagram conversations on her phone.

“I am persuaded by the evidence presented by the learner and by the Instagram communication between them. Mr Davids used the significant age gap between him and the learner, his experience and his authority as an educator, to exercise inappropriate power or control over the learner. He was deceptive and manipulative in the way he went about grooming the learner.

“The learner entered into this fake loving relationship or friendship with Mr Davids but he slowly gained more control over the learner to the point when he persuaded her to expose herself to him. He sexually groomed the learner,” said Buitendag.

A copy of the arbitration award will be sent to the South African Council for Educators (SACE) in order for David’s teaching certificate to be revoked and him to be declared unfit to work with children.

Bronagh Hammond, a WCED spokesperson, stated that the teacher was no longer employed by the department.

“We cannot allow for such behaviour and will investigate any allegations that are reported. The WCED encourages all learners to report such incidents to our Safe Schools hotline. Educators that are informed or made aware of such abuse or harassment are obliged to report the matter to the WCED in terms of the abuse no more protocols.”

Between January 2021 and January 2022, one teacher was found guilty of “sexual harassment,” according to Hammond.

Action Society spokesperson Ian Cameron said: “If a teacher does make him or herself guilty of something like this, regardless of the times when committed, it’s not only illegal but it’s predatory. It’s preying on vulnerable children. Even if the child played along in a flirt, or started it the responsibility lies with adults. There’s a lot more that can be done to protect minors, but unfortunately, minors very often have access to social media from a very young age.”

Hendrick Makaneta, an education activist, believes there are more incidents like this that are being kept hidden.

“We need to make awareness an ongoing campaign in society broadly so that many learners can feel free to come out and speak about such misconduct by teachers. Stringent measures must be placed to combat ill-discipline within social media.” said Makaneta.”

To report such incidents contact WCED Safe Schools hotline at 0800 45 46 47

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Thato Motaung for SurgeZirc SA
Thato Motaung for SurgeZirc SA
SurgeZirc SA is proud to have Thato Motaung as a valuable member of our team. With his expertise in both technology and sports, Thato brings a unique perspective to our publication. Thato is a talented writer with a passion for all things tech and sports.
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