Yoliswa Sobuwa and Nico Gous
Gauteng MEC of education Panyaza Lesufi expressed the need for the establishment of a new code of conduct during his visit to the Parktown Boys’ High School in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
“We have learnt of the events taking place in the hostel especially during parties and when the pupils leave hostel to come to school. There are accusations that pupils are sharing blades to cut their beards. Also if something happens to them they must keep quiet,” he said.
“That is something that I felt I must come and address and officially declare in front of learners and educators that the code of silence no longer exists but a new code will be formulated. If anyone is aggrieved they have a right to complain,” Lesufi said.
Lesufi said grade 8 pupils are taken to a camp outside the school’s premises where they are mistreated.
“Some of the boys come back really traumatised and if they speak out there are allegations that a product called ‘Deep heat’ will be rubbed in their private parts. That code of silence must come to an end,” Lesufi said.
Lesufi also voiced concerns about a liquor license being given to the hostel.
“That licence needs to be reviewed as there are allegations that liquor is sold to pupils during hostel parties. We value this school and pupils should be protected at all times. ,” Lesufi said.
Parktown Boys’ High School is not new to controvery.
In April, two teachers from the school were accused of racism and assault.
IOL reported an art teacher‚ Nik Muiznieks resigned after he was recorded during a rant directed at some pupils. In the 45-minute rant he allegedly called some of the pupils “black and white monkeys”. He also allegedly asked an Indian pupil where he can buy explosives to blow up the boarding house‚ and also called him “Isis”.
He allegedly resigned after the school started a disciplinary process.
Maths literacy teacher Remo Murabito was also accused of assaulting a pupil in class. IOL reported that she allegedly stomped on his foot and slapped him before calling him a “nuisance in my life”.
Parents spoke of the trauma their children endured as a result of alleged racism and sexual assault at the school.
“Every single bit of this evidence was presented to the headmaster‚ to the SGB (school governing body) and it was too much for them and they tried to squash the information‚” said one parent in a meeting with Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
A man alleged his nephew was sexually assaulted and Deep Heat was rubbed on his genitals. He said his sister did not attend the meeting due to the “sensitivity and the painful trauma that she is going through”.
Nine teachers have been implicated in allegations of racism and sexual assault in the department’s report presented in April. Law firm Fasken Martineau compiled the report.
“There were nine teachers that were implicated‚ but four we’ve got evidence against them. Of the four‚ two are employed by the department and two are employed by the school‚” Lesufi said.
The four teachers will be suspended. One teacher has already resigned and another is facing disciplinary proceedings.
In 2017, the school was hit by scandal after a former Parktown Boys High School assistant water polo coach was charged with sexually grooming more than 20 pupils in 2015. He was arrested in November 2016 after some of the boys‚ aged 15 and 16‚ came forward in early 2017.
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