18 January 2018

South Africa: Cape Town Teacher Accused of Sexual Assault Appears in Court

The case against a teacher charged with sexually assaulting a learner at Thandokhulu High School in Mowbray will be heard in May.

This follows several postponements, most recently for the state to collect statements from witnesses.

Ayanda Ntuthu is accused of touching a learner on his private parts during a sleepover at the school in May 2017. He has also been accused of hitting another learner with a belt. Ntuthu was released from police custody on R1,000 bail on 31 August and was ordered not to contact any of the witnesses.

On Thursday, Ntuthu made his first appearance in the Wynberg Sexual Offences Court. The state said it had gathered all of the necessary statements and was ready for the matter to be heard.

Magistrate Ralarala Nontuthuzelo postponed the case until 22 May for trial.

An internal investigation by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) found Ntuthu not guilty of the allegations. In August 2017, learners protested outside the school calling for the teacher to be suspended and for the WCED to explain why he had been found not guilty.

In November, Ntuthu's lawyer, who refused to give her name to GroundUp, told the court that her client was being "subjected to unfair postponements" following several postponements. She said her client "has been under a lot of stress" and asked that the case be removed from the court roll until the state was ready to proceed.

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