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Vetting emerges solution to rape in schools

Gauteng Provincial Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) of Education, Panyaza Lesufi
Gauteng Provincial Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) of Education, Panyaza Lesufi

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE thorough vetting of all personnel to work at schools is seen as a solution to the rampant sexual abuse at South African schools.
There have been an overwhelming number of reports in recent weeks of alleged and confirmed cases of molestations and rape against school learners across the country.
Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE), the largest and most well-established background screening company in Southern Africa, welcomed moves by Gauteng Provincial Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) of Education, Panyaza Lesufi, to vet school guards.
“We cannot overlook the terrible travesties that have befallen the affected children,” said MIE Chief Executive Officer, Ina van der Merwe.
“And, in certain instances, these cases might have been prevented altogether, if the necessary steps were taken to do thorough background screenings to verify the identifications and any potential past records of school employees alleged to have perpetrated these offenses against the school learners.”
The company pointed out following a spate of reports of rape and
molestation cases originating from a primary school in Soweto – where a school security guard has been arrested and awaits trial – two cases that implicate a choirmaster and a scholar patrolman at a school in Tshwane, as well as two more cases at schools in Hammanskraal and Bronkhorstspruit, Lesufi had expressed the intent of his department to remodel the current
process being used to vet school guards across the province.
“This is a fantastic move by MEC Panyaza Lesufi, in promoting the need for stronger policies around employee background screening to be put in place, and which we certainly advocate,” van der Merwe added.
The executive said every child in South Africa had a constitutional right of access to education, hence the environment must be conducive.
“Now more than ever, thorough background screening checks on all school employees is essential, particularly if we want to break the cycle and safeguard the persons and civil rights of the pupils,” van der Merwe.
CAJ News

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