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Johannesburg – The accused headmaster of the Catholic school John Martin in Kagiso, who acts as a “sexual pest”, was taken on special leave as a precautionary measure, as it became known that the educator had a valid teaching certificate when he was appointed.
Last week there was an outcry over the appointment of Motsamai Molete, a former educator at Phahama Secondary School in Mohlakeng, who was fired by the Gauteng Ministry of Education (GDE) for misconduct after sexually assaulting a student and for inappropriate and shameful sexual behavior compared to learners in 2014.
The Education Labor Relations Council (ELRC) also confirmed his dismissal in 2015. Following a viral social media post, the Catholic educational institute decided to put the educator on precautionary special leave while solving the problem, the GDE confirmed.
“We are following this matter with interest,” GDE spokesman Steve Mabona told The Star.
The Episcopal Vicar for Schools in the Catholic Archdiocese of Johannesburg,
Solly Mphela said Saturday that the archdiocese stressed the paramount importance of protecting children in church schools and established standard employment practices for Catholic schools as part of a policy to protect children.
Mphela said after the GDE and ELRC fired Molete, the agency had not reported the matter to the South African Education Council (SACE), nor had he been charged.
“In fact, he has a valid SACE teaching certificate,” he said.
Mabona confirmed that a criminal case was not reported by the department after Molete was convicted and released.
The Archdiocese of Johannesburg said the people who employed Molete at the John Martin Catholic School had died and no clarification had been gained about how the incumbent headmaster was hired.
“The board was in the process of initiating disciplinary proceedings at the end of 2020 because it had not disclosed the results against it at the time of his appointment. Unfortunately, two Covid-19 board members recently passed away and another resigned, ”Mphela said.
He added that a process was currently underway for the appointment of a new board of directors and that a due process on the employment of Molete would be implemented if a board was in place.
“The Catholic Church has a comprehensive policy to protect children and abhor abuse of children,” Mphela said.
In the meantime, the Gauteng Public Prosecutor’s Office is calling for a national sex offender registry for teachers to be set up to protect learners from “sex pests”.
“In most cases, some private schools do not have mechanisms for checking the employment history of their candidates, which puts the lives of learners at risk,” said DA spokesman for education, Khume Ramulifho.
He added that the national register of sex offenders for teachers should be made public so that both public and private schools can access, including parents, to protect their children from sexual predators.
“This register ensures that teachers who have been dismissed for sexually related cases are blacklisted. The safety of learners should be a priority, ”said Ramulifho.