“These allegations are indeed disturbing. We are actually disappointed,” Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi said in a statement about the 57-year-old school patroller who allegedly sexually assaulted 54 learners.

“The teams will ensure that the intervention is conducted in line with the prescripts of the Children’s Act, Sexual Offences Act and Child Protection Protocols,” the department said.

The department said a case had been opened at Orlando Police Station and that the patroller was arrested on 9 October. His services were terminated with immediate effect.

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Officials are at the school to establish the facts around the incident.

The department said it had a zero-tolerance stance on allegations of sexual assault, and had never hesitated to act where accusations of this nature were proven true.

“We encourage learners never to listen to anybody who tells them not to tell for fear of victimisation. Learners must report such incidents to their parents, police or any other trusted figure of authority so necessary action can be taken accordingly,” it said.

“We can confirm that the screening of scholar patrollers is conducted by the Department of Community Safety. An investigation on the appointment of this scholar patroller has been launched thereof.”

Source: African News Agency (ANA)