Sexting claims hit Grey Junior

Aftercare supervisor suspended as school investigates allegations

Sexually explicit photographs and claims that an aftercare supervisor performed sexual acts on schoolboys as young as 12 are being investigated at a prestigious Port Elizabeth primary school, Grey Junior. While the investigation continues, the school has closed ranks, refusing to say much more than that the matter is “sub judice”. Grey Junior’s attorney, Craig Jessop, yesterday confirmed that an investigation was pending and that a woman, 22, had been suspended. The young woman at the centre of the probe has, in the meantime, consulted top Port Elizabeth attorney Danie Gouws. The boys who were allegedly sent the photographs are not believed to be part of the aftercare group, which only caters for Grade 1 to Grade 3 pupils. A source close to the investigation, who did not want to be named, said more than 10 boys had allegedly received photographs of female genitals with allegations of sexual acts “taking place in the cloakroom” also surfacing earlier this month. When contacted for comment, the young woman, who is not being named due to the nature of the alleged crime, said she had nothing to say and did not know anything about an investigation. When asked why she was not at work, she said she was on sick leave. Gouws confirmed yesterday that the woman was “a client of my offices”. He said: “It seems there is an investigation [into the allegations]. I have been in contact with Grey’s attorneys and we are trying to deal with it.” No complaints have yet been laid with the police. Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the police were unaware of the incident and as such were not investigating. Should the aftercare supervisor be charged, she would be charged under the Sexual Offences Act, Naidu said.

The nature of the alleged offences would be considered sexual assault as well as “grooming” which involves preparing a child to take part in sexual acts, either by making friends with them, buying them gifts or showing them pornography. Awoman who answered the aftercare phone simply said they had been told the woman in question “was sick with flu”. She would not say for how long the woman had been away from school. The woman, whose name is known to Weekend Post, is not listed on the Grey Junior website although other staff members’ names are. Grey Junior principal Lindsay Pearson said yesterday the school had not reported the matter to either the Department of Education or the police because “at this stage it’s all allegations”. Earlier in the day, Pearson, via the school secretary, said he could not comment as the matter was sub judice. Jessop said: “At the moment there are no findings of guilt or innocence. We are busy concluding the investigation. Pursuant to the findings we might institute disciplinary action.” Teachers who were asked about the allegations indicated they were aware of the situation but were not willing to talk. Education department spokesman Malibongwe Mtima could not be reached for comment. This is the second time this year Grey Junior’s aftercare has made headlines. In February, a pupil was abducted from outside the aftercare. The plan was for the kidnappers to try to extort R50 000 from his father, a prominent Port Elizabeth political figure.