3 Ngcobo school staff members accused of raping 3 boys
Three male staff members at a Ngcobo school have been arrested to face charges of luring three boys to their homes on the pretence of helping them with their homework before plying them with alcohol and raping them.
The arrest on Sunday of two teachers and a clerk has shocked the Ngcobo community, and a crowd of more than 400 people arrived at the school on Monday morning demanding answers.
“It is alleged that three boys between 14 and 17 years were taken by the suspects to their place of residence.
“On arriving, they allegedly gave them alcohol and raped them,” said police spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni.
There are said to be several occurrences between June and August.
“On Saturday, police were summoned about the incident and a case of rape was immediately opened.
All the suspects, who are between the ages of 30 and 49, were arrested on Sunday,” said Mdleleni.
They are expected to appear in the Ngcobo magistrate’s court on Tuesday.
On Monday, officials from the education department met with angry community members at the school.
The meeting was attended by Ngcobo mayor Siyabulele Zangqa and education district director Chris Mtshotana.
Community leader Vuyani Matshikitsha, who fielded calls from the community for the school to be closed, said: “We are shocked about this incident, we never anticipated this. The education department needs to give us more answers.
“But we cannot allow the school to be closed.
“Where will the children study if the school is closed? Teachers are like parents, so to have teachers accused of this is scary.
“How will our children trust teachers and love education?”
Education spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said the department, including MEC Fundile Gade and his head of department Themba Kojana, were deeply shocked to learn of the allegations.
“The department has moved with speed. We heard about this on Thursday and by Friday, we had already served the teachers and the clerk with suspension letters pending finalisation of the investigation,” Mtima said.
“This is a serious and sensitive matter. Today [Monday] we dispatched our officials to counsel pupils. We have also launched a departmental investigation,” said Mtima.
Villagers said they would picket in front of the Ngcobo magistrate’s court on Tuesday calling for the staff members to be denied bail.