'Educators must teach and not violate' - Panyaza Lesufi following probe into Parktown Boys' High

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has instructed the governing body of Parktown Boys' High School to review the school's code of conduct, following an investigation into damning allegations, which include secondary victimisation, racism and the sale of alcohol on the school premises.

Lesufi also announced that a new principal would start on June 1.

"The MEC instructed the school governing body (SGB) to review the school code of conduct, to stipulate clear procedure for reporting and managing incidents of abuse and other matters," department spokesperson Steve Mabona said.

Mabona explained that the investigation was conducted following complaints from some parents that some teachers were victimising pupils.

"Among other allegations investigated was that four [teachers] were implicated in allegations of racism, two employed by the department and two by the school governing body.

"The said [teachers] will be on precautionary suspension from the school before the end of this week. A disciplinary hearing will be held at a later stage."

Mabona said there was also an allegation that Deep Heat rub was smeared on pupils' private parts.

"No evidence was found. We strongly believe that the culture of silence might have played a major role."

Mabona also referred to allegations that pupils were forced to use the same blade for shaving, saying that a new process must be implemented with immediate effect to avert such unhygienic practices.

He added that there was also an allegation that strippers were brought to school hostel night parties but said no evidence of this was found.

"The culture of silence in the school impeded the gathering of evidence."

The MEC strongly criticised the sale of alcohol in the school environment and has advised that the liquor licence granted to the bar be revoked.

"The bar is located within the school precinct. There must be clear division of roles and responsibilities between the department, SGB, the school management team and the foundation. This will ensure that the lines are not blurred between the foundation and the SGB specifically."

Lesufi added: "We are on course to protect public education. Any person who wants to tarnish the image of the school will be dealt with accordingly.  

"[Pupils] must be protected, [teachers] must teach and not violate [pupils] or commit any misconduct. All [pupils] must be treated equally and their dignity protected in our institutions. Any form of discrimination and abuse [will] not be tolerated."