MEC Lesufi: Boys must speak out if abused

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pretoria - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has encouraged boys to speak out when they are violated to avoid the harm that silence can do to their lives at a later stage.

He visited educators and learners of Parktown Boys High School in Johannesburg on Tuesday to provide support following the sexual misconduct incident in which a sports coach is in custody on sexual abuse charges.

MEC Lesufi said the investigation is still underway. He said boy learners should not to listen to voices that say ‘boys, don’t cry and complain’, as this is likely to cause harm in their lives.

He assured the school of his full support and expressed his pride at the rich history and performance of the school in National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams over the years.

The department rates Parktown Boys High School as one of the best in Gauteng, and said it will do everything necessary to protect the school.

“We are here to ensure that the incident never occurs again. School is a place of learning and prosperity, not discomfort,” said MEC Lesufi.

As the first line defenders of their school, MEC Lesufi has also requested the learners to be on the lookout for crimes against women and children, and report these to the relevant authorities.

The learners have been issued with confidential contact details in the event that they wish to receive further counselling and support.

MEC Lesufi has implored SGB members to start subjecting candidates to strict Human Resource vetting processes prior to their appointment as the support staff of schools.

The department has a programme advocating for school safety and children’s rights campaign. A protocol for the management of confirmed and suspected cases of abuse is currently being updated to comply with all child protection legislation.

“The department views cases of sexual assault in a very serious light and has a zero tolerance approach on such matters. The department will not hesitate to take the necessary action where wrongdoing is proven true,” said MEC Lesufi. - SAnews.gov.za

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