I am taking full responsibility, this happened under my watch - Lesufi

The Gauteng Education Department says that the number of pupils who were sexually assaulted by a patrol guard at a primary school in Soweto has increased to 83.

The man was arrested on Monday after a case was opened by two pupils in Grade 1 and Grade 6. It emerged at the time that up to 54 pupils had been assaulted at the school.

In an interview with eNCA, several parents relayed how their children were told to keep quiet about the assaults, by teachers.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has announced that the principal and the entire senior management of the school have been removed.

Last night we finished very late, we met with all community structures, because we have to broaden this thing as quickly as possible and create that environment where parents can feel free to raise these issues, but also to ensure that we give immediate support to these children because they have gone through pain

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

Lesufi has described the incidents as a national disaster.

We can't just say our policies, or our reporting structures are functioning, its not, the mere fact that you can have 83 learners going through this pain in one school under a year....

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

It starts with all of us, its us, we have failed these children. It must not be confined to people hat are only at the school. the entire education system has failed these children. I am taking full responsibility, this thing happened under my watch.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

It's really a national disaster, we just have to find a mechanism and way of immediately addressing this.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

Investigations are underway to determine if the 57-year-old was previously employed at an other learning institution.

We have already gone to his vetting form together with the police. We said the police must dig deeper.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio...

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