Delay in rape trial against teacher is traumatising to young victims | #teacher | #children | #kids

By Anelisa Kubheka 2h ago

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Durban – WHEN the trial of an Nquthu high school teacher charged with sexual assault begins, one of his victims will have to relive a rape she alleged happened six years ago.

The now 49-year-old man was arrested in 2016 and faces six charges, including sexual assault and sexual grooming.

His arrest came after a video of him, allegedly having sex with a pupil, went viral on social media.

His trial is set to start in November and, according to the National Prosecuting Authority, he is still in custody.

“It is so unfair to keep children waiting for a case. Often offenders have defence attorneys who will delay the cases. It’s important that cases like these are handled speedily and with great care, that magistrates and prosecutors hold defence attorneys accountable for every delay in preparing for the case. Delays prolong the misery of the children,” said Joan van Niekerk, a children’s rights and child protection consultant.

Van Niekerk, who is also co-author of A Practical Approach to Child Justice, said the accused, based on his alleged behaviour, was a danger to children in communities.

“One can only imagine the problem for these victims, as this case has been delayed for four years. One hopes it will now be finalised and the child will be able to move on with her life.”

Childline KZN acting director Adeshni Naicker said having this trial only begin four years after the arrest was prolonged trauma to the victim.

“A victim is unable to find closure if they are continuously reminded of the trauma. The psychosocial therapeutic intervention is disturbed. Any progress is delayed and the trauma is prolonged.”

The six charges against the teacher relate to two alleged victims, both of whom lived with him in his cottage on school premises. The two alleged victims were from poor families, and the accused allegedly brought them to live with him under the pretence of lending a helping hand. One of the girls lived with him from 2013 until 2015, and alleged he began raping her in 2014.

Daily News


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