He was a soft-spoken, entertaining and pious man who prayed at his school’s assemblies, liked gospel music, regularly taught Bible studies to his pupils and colleagues, and often posted religious statements on his Facebook page. He even counselled teenage pupils on morality.
But this portrait is far from the one now being painted by former colleagues and the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng education departments, who are investigating claims that the teacher had se_x with his pupils on multiple occasions in both provinces.
The moustached 45-year-old father of five, whose name is known to the Sunday Times, has been suspended from his position as a teacher at Ekucabangeni High School in Nquthu, northern KwaZulu-Natal, after graphic videos of him having se_x with three women were circulated on social media.
Since a visit by KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane to the school last week, six girls have come forward to claim the teacher had s_ex with them.
And it has emerged that the South African Council of Educators is investigating claims that he had been accused of the same offence at Mgazi High School, also in Nquthu.
The man’s lawyer, Bruce Macgregor, said the teacher denied all the allegations against him. He also denied that the women on the videos were his pupils – or schoolgirls at all.
“The videos date back many years, as do the relationships with the three adult women concerned. [The teacher] strongly disputes the allegations made by the six pupils who have allegedly come forward … he has no idea as to how he has become targeted.”
Macgregor said that one of the women in the videos was the teacher’s common-law wife, while the other two were “clearly not learners”.
However, the KwaZulu-Natal education department is adamant that the women had been his pupils, while a former colleague at a school where he was accused of impregnating two pupils said: “His weakness was learners.”
The accused teacher, who has reportedly been working in the profession for 22 years and previously taught in Durban, denied these claims, too.
One of the women in the videos, a 27-year-old, told the Sunday Times this week that while she was no longer a pupil at the time the sex tape was made, her relationship with the teacher had started while she was still at school.
“I was shocked when I learnt about the video and I watched it a little bit. I didn’t know that he was taking a video of us having se_x,” she said.
The video appears to have been shot on a cellphone.
Another video, which also appears to have been filmed by the teacher holding the phone in one hand, shows him having se_x with a pregnant woman who, according to Macgregor, is the man’s common-law wife.
“I have taken it very badly. I did not have the courage to watch them,”
A team from the South African Council of Educators travelled to Nquthu this week for what they thought would be a straightforward probe into the claims at Ekucabangeni High.
However, spokesman Thembinkosi Ndhlovu said, they quickly realised there was more to the case. “This case has got a lot of issues. We are told that teacher once taught in Gauteng and did the same thing.