12 July 2018

Namibia: Teacher Faces Disciplinary Action Over Sex Grooming

FORMER Mariental High School hostel supervisor Samuel Alex Hamunyela, who is accused of grooming schoolboys for sex with text messages, is expected to appear in a disciplinary hearing tomorrow.

Hardap regional education director Mzingisi Gwede yesterday confirmed that an investigation into allegations made by four boys against Hamunyela has been completed, and that it was decided to bring him before a disciplinary hearing.

However, Gwede could not be drawn into commenting on the outcome of the investigation, saying only that "for now, I can only confirm that a disciplinary hearing against him is set for this week".

In March this year, the four boys levelled allegations of indecent solicitation and grooming against the teacher.

Hamunyela has since been transferred to the Teachers Resource Centre (TRC) at Rehoboth to pave the way for the investigations.

Some Mariental residents, who tipped off The Namibian about the alleged sexual grooming, accused the regional education director of treating the matter with kid gloves by not suspending the teacher.

They claimed that a former hostel superintendent at the Rehoboth High School had been immediately suspended when boys exposed him for allegedly abusing them in a similar manner in 2016.

Gwede brushed off claims of partiality as "untrue", and insisted that the latest case was not treated differently to the one in 2016.

"Anyone is innocent until proven guilty," he remarked.

Several attempts to get comment from Hamunyela proved futile yesterday.

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