Today's Big Stories

Vetting of local educators questioned as top teacher faces sexual assault charge

Parents place a great deal of trust on their children’s educators, who spend a lot of time with them at school.

But the background checks performed on potential teaching staff has been called into question after a 42-year-old teacher in Plettenberg Bay was accused of sexually assaulting a schoolboy.

According to Jessica Shelver, Spokesperson for Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer, convicted sex offenders are not eligible to teach in the country.

Shelver says that the provincial department also checks their own system for previous internal disciplinary hearings before it conisders a teacher for a post.

We can see if any teacher has been charged or accused of sexual misconduct on any occasion.

Jessica Shelver, Shelver. Spokesperson to WC MEC of Education Debbie Schafer

According to Shelver, nine cases of sexual misconduct were reported to the provincial education department in the 2013-2014 year, and 10 cases were reported in 2014-2015.

Leigh Dunn, the teacher in question, was arrested on 22 June after the pupil's guardian reported the alleged incidents.

The guardian said that therapy had revealed the child had been sexually assaulted on two occasions in May this year.

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

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