A University of Fort Hare student teacher who is accused of statutory rape has got off scot-free after the mother of the teenager said she will not be opening a case with the police.
It is alleged that the student teacher had sexual relationship with the 14-year-old pupil he was teaching during his teaching practice at Nothintsilana Junior Secondary School in Ngqeleni.
The provincial department of education confirmed that the matter was reported at their Ngqeleni District office.
Spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said there was nothing much they could do.
“The learner was not fetched from school. The boy fetched the girl from her home with his car. The girl was not wearing a uniform instead wearing casual clothes.
Department of Education will not be able to take any action against the boy as he is not an employee of the Department of Education. The incident happened outside the premises of the school,” he said.
Mtima said the department would engage the University of Fort Hare on the matter.
The department said the only thing it would do was to investigate allegations of corporal punishment on the pupil by the school principal.
The mother of the teenager who works in KwaBhaca, about 130km away from Ngqeleni, could not give the Dispatch a clear explanation on why she did not want lay charges.
However, she said she was not happy with the way she and her child were treated by the school principal when she went to report the matter.
“Just after we enter her office, she sent a male teacher to fetch a stick. She started assaulting my child all over the body accusing her of being a loose child who was seducing a teacher,” she said.
The mother who cannot be named because her child is a victim of rape said she watched helplessly as the principal was beating her child.
“I begged her to stop, but she didn’t,” she said.
The teenager’s mother alleged that the principal further humiliated her child in the assembly the following day telling all pupils that, “my child is a loose child who seduces teachers”, she said.
When the Dispatch contacted the principal last week she refused to comment and referred the matter to the department spokesperson.
“Sir may I apologise that I cannot assist you on this matter. May you please consult the departmental spokesperson. Thanks for your understanding,” she said.
Mtima said the department would investigate the allegations of corporal punishment against the principal.
“The corporal punishment was abolished in the new dispensation, and has been criminalised, as the department we shall investigate these allegations of its practice in the school,” he said.
The aunt of the child who cannot be named also, said, she had visitedthe home for the weekend when the incident happened.
“She did not join the family for supper, that is when we started to get worried. We started looking around and calling her friends, but no one knew where she was,” she said.
She said it was the following morning when they received clues of her whereabouts.
“On our way to that village, we met her on the way going home,” she said.
She said they took her to a local clinic where it was confirmed that she was penetrated.