Teacher accused of rape

No bail granted

22 October 2019 | Crime

Estelle Bailey; Educational Psychologist; “…this is highly unfair to the child…”

Swakopmund • Iréne-Mari van der Walt

A teacher (37) at a primary school in Tamariskia, Swakopmund, is facing a charge of rape.

The accused allegedly had a romantic relationship with a minor who was one of his students when he committed the offence. He appeared before magistrate Paula Brown in the Swakopmund magistrate’s court on 10 October and was denied bail. The case was postponed for further investigations and is set to continue on 20 November.

Public prosecutor Tuandamuje Katjindu represented the state.

The principal of the school was unavailable to comment.

According to educational psychologist Estelle Bailey, the particulars of the relationship which are unknown to the public will impact the child and play a vital role in court.

“We don’t know how the alleged relationship was formed. These children are often groomed,” Bailey said.

She added that the alleged occurrence would be “highly unfair to the child” due to the level of respect that scholars are known to have for their teachers. “One can almost say that a child has more respect for a teacher than a parent, as this is often the case.”

Bailey said that the long-term symptoms victims experience can be minimized by trauma counselling and therapy. “The victim will need therapy. It is vital. She must recognise that the alleged event was a mistake and that people often make mistakes.”

She also said that school officials will have to step up and discuss the issues at hand.

“Hopefully they have a quick-witted teacher who will intervene and discuss this issue with learners. The situation needs to be explained to them and they need to be taught about consent and personal space.”

She also suggested that these sessions be done without the details of the case at hand.

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