A TEACHER at Gungwe High School in Gwanda District is reportedly on the run and is believed to have skipped the border into Botswana after he allegedly sodomised 14 pupils who are doing “bush” boarding at the school.
Although Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele could not readily confirm the incident, traditional leaders and teachers at the school confirmed that the teacher (name withheld) would sneak into the temporary boarding facilities and sodomise the pupils before threatening them if they reported the matter.
“I have not received the report but I am still searching. We want such cases to be reported to the police so that the criminals can be arrested,” said Insp Ndebele yesterday.
However, Chief Mathe whose jurisdiction covers the school confirmed the incident and said the whole community was still in shock.
“I heard the story from the headmaster, Mr Mangazha on Friday who said that 14 pupils were sexually abused. This is very sad and shocking because we will be sending our children to school to learn and someone, more so who is supposed to protect them abuses them. We hear that he has escaped from the area, even his relatives don’t know where he is. I urge my subjects to teach their children so that they grow up to be responsible and protective people to the young ones and not their abusers.
Such cases should be reported to the police and such people be dealt with accordingly,” said Chief Mathe.
Teachers at the school said the incident came to light on Monday after the said teacher was assaulted by a group of boys at the school who are doing Upper Sixth after they discovered that the he was in the habit of sodomising young boys especially those who are doing Form One.
A teacher said he was only saved by the security guards at the school. It is said the 14 boys then wrote a report to the school authorities detailing how he would sneak into their rooms at night and sodomise them. In the report, the pupils alleged that he threatened to expel them from school if they ever reported the matter.
Contacted for comment, the headmaster, a Mr Mangazha said he has submitted the report of what happened to the police and the district education offices.
However, Matabeleland South provincial education director Mrs Tumisang Thabela said she was in Bulawayo and was still to see the report.
One of the teacher’s relatives who declined to be named said they were saddened by the accusations.
“We apologise to the parents of the victims about their children. This is not how he was raised and what he did was not good, more so considering the fact that he is an orphan, who didn’t grow up under very friendly conditions and he should know well his situation. What surprises us is that he has a wife and a kid in Bulawayo. He ran away from home and we don’t know where he is now,” said the relative.
However, the villagers said they suspected he could have skipped the border to Botswana. The case comes right on the heels of a Ntepe High school teacher, Bhekumuzi Sibanda who recently committed suicide after he was accused of sodomising school pupils. sunday news