Friday, January 20, 2017
Teacher cleared of raping girl

Teacher cleared of raping girl

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Cape Town – A teacher from one of the country’s top private girls’ schools, falsely accused of rape by a pupil, has demanded a public apology from the girl.

The teacher also wants her family to contribute to an organisation dealing with rape cases.

By on Friday it was not yet clear if the family was prepared to meet his demands.

“(The teacher) is deeply wounded by what’s happened, but he wants to (highlight) the harsh reality of rape,” the school’s principal told Weekend Argus on Friday.

He asked that neither the teacher, nor the school, be named.

Criminal charges against the teacher were withdrawn about a week ago, and this week an internal investigation by the school also cleared the man.

The teacher’s suspension was lifted and he on Friday attended the school’s end of term event.

He will resume teaching at the school next term.

On Thursday the principal and the school’s chairman wrote a joint letter to staff in which the teacher was named.

Staff were told: “(The teacher’s) attorneys have advised the school that they intend writing to the student’s family on his behalf to demand a public apology, the payment of the legal costs (he) incurred in dealing with the allegations, and an appropriate contribution by the family to Rape Crisis.”

The shock rape allegations surfaced last month, resulting in the teacher’s arrest.

A Grade 11 pupil, aged 17, alleged the teacher raped her at the school on May 19, as well as on other occasions dating back to January 2014.

This was reported to the police on May 25, and the teacher was arrested.

He appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court and was released on bail.

Last week the charges against him were withdrawn due to insufficient evidence.

The letter to staff said that despite a prosecutor withdrawing the charges against the teacher, the school had decided to continue with an internal investigation.

The pupil provided an affidavit, which detailed the alleged incidents of rape and sexual assault.

The school investigation looked into these allegations.

“This included interviewing staff and students, examining timetable schedules, teacher allocations, CCTV footage and securing written witness statements,” the letter said.

The school had twice requested, via the pupil’s attorneys, that she be made available for questioning to assist with their investigation.

But her attorneys said she would not get involved in the internal investigation, for reasons including her “personal and emotional well-being”.

About a week ago, on the day the charges were withdrawn against the teacher, the pupil’s attorneys told the school that she would not be returning to the school.

“In the circumstances, the school had to conclude its investigation without further input from the student,” the letter said.

Last week the teacher met the investigator conducting the probe for the school, and answered questions about the pupil’s allegations, which he denied.

On Tuesday the report into the internal investigation was presented to the school’s principal.

“Based on all the evidence gathered, including timetable schedules, teacher allocations, CCTV footage and interviews with and statements taken from various witnesses, the only conclusion that could be drawn was that there was and is no merit in the allegations contained in the student’s affidavit,” the letter to staff said.

It added that the pupil’s allegations were contradicted by the internal investigation’s findings, and that the teacher was “fully exonerated”.

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