A Valhalla Primary School teacher accused of 24 cases of sexual assault could have more cases added to his charge sheet, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday.
This was revealed during the teacher’s bail application.
State advocate Sanet Jacobson argued that it would not be in the interests of justice for the court to grant the accused bail.
“We have seen organisations submit affidavits against bail being granted, let alone the extent of which the media has reported on this matter, and it may lead to public outrage if bail is granted,” Jacobson submitted.
The court also heard from the investigating officer, Captain Johannes Mkhondo, about the possibility of more cases being added.
“I have obtained a statement from the deputy principal at Valhalla, [who] talks of a meeting with the accused, where he was reprimanded after complaints of similar allegations surfaced,” Mkhondo told the court.
The police’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit arrested the teacher on February 7.
The arrest came after allegations that he had sexually assaulted several children, who were aged 10 to 12 in 2017 and 2018. The allegations surfaced during a visit from members of the Tshwane Metro Police Department on January 23 to teach pupils about sexual offences and abuse.
The accused’s lawyer however, told the court he had evidence that the investigating officer had attempted to solicit a R10 000 bribe from the accused’s wife.
Mkhondo denied the claims, and said that he would offer his cellphones for screening.
He told the court he believed the accused would not be safe if he was granted bail.
During the teacher’s arrest, Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said it was not yet clear how many children were affected. Further developments would be communicated once investigations were concluded.
He added that “several statements have been obtained from the concerned parents” to aid investigations.
According to Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona, the teacher joined the school in 2017 after being appointed by the school governing body.
The department made his position permanent this year.
Civic organisation #NotInMyName was also in court.
The accused is expected to appear in the same court again on Thursday for the verdict.
He remains behind bars.