A rape scandal at a primary school in Namibia, involving some pupils, a teacher and a cleaner, has shocked the entire South African country, since the news broke.
According to a report by The Namibian, the incident happened at the Usiel Ndjavera Primary School at Otjinene.
Otjinene constituency councillor Erwin Katjizeu confirmed the rape allegations, saying the claims are being investigated by the police.
Acting police regional commander for the Omaheke region, Chris Kalimbula, however, declined to comment on the matter, saying no charges had yet been registered.
Katjizeu, who expressed shock and anger at the alleged rape of the minors, told The Namibian yesterday that the story broke last Monday when a certain teacher at the school called two pupils to his house, and allegedly raped them.
He said one child ran away and informed her parents, while the other girl was found by the hostel matron at the teacher’s house the next morning.
“The girl’s parent had sent money through the matron, and she came looking for the child in the morning, only to be told that the teacher had taken her the night before. This opened the Pandora’s box,” said Katjizeu, adding that the teacher had allegedly coaxed the children to jump out of the window and follow him as the hostel door was being locked.
Concerned parents then came to the school to make enquiries, and more children came forward with stories of how they were either allegedly fondled and molested by the teacher or the cleaner.
“I heard about this the first time from a Windhoek-based parent, and when I went to the school, the principal had informed me that the parents have taken matters into their own hands, which I did not accept. These children are under the government’s care, and therefore the responsibility of the school, and a case needed to be opened,” Katjizeu stressed.
According to the councillor, some parents were allegedly offered bribes of N$5 000 to keep the rape cases a secret, while others were offered cattle for their silence.
A parent confirmed this in a voice clip distributed widely on social media last week.
The parent narrated how he had found out that his daughter was allegedly raped by a teacher, and threatened not to report the matter to the authorities.
He said after he found out about the matter, he brought the child to Windhoek for health check-ups.
“Some parents wanted to bury the issue by taking the N$5 000, and I refused because this is akin to selling a child off. I will not sell my child because this is what it is. I do not even know whether my child is pregnant, or even infected with HIV. What kind of wound would this be for my child?” asked the aggrieved parent.
The education ministry had sent a team, including a social worker, to investigate the allegations, and compile a report on the issue.
The affected pupils were taken to Gobabis for medical examinations, accompanied by some of the team members and their parents.