‘Sex crazy’ teacher fights suspension

‘Sex crazy’ teacher fights suspension

MASERU – A SCHOOL principal is fighting both the police and the Ombudsman for trying to force her to rehire a teacher accused of asking for sexual favours from a pupil.
Employed to teach agriculture to young children at a church school in Mohale’s Hoek, Motseki Qhala allegedly ended up preying on a vulnerable young girl.
Qhala is now out of a job after his alleged shenanigans were exposed by one of his pupils.
He is fighting to return to his workplace and he has engaged the services of the police and the Ombudsman to force his way back. The school principal is having none of it, resulting in the case spilling into the courts.

The case began with an odd request: a school teacher asking a Form B pupil at home to ask for her help in finding a teaching job for his friend. Then he was begging for sex.
thepost we will not name the girl’s name or specific details of the school in line with the requirement of the Children’s Protection Act of 2010.
The girl, whom thepost will call Moikokobetsi, alleged Qhala begged her to allow him to “just allow him to press it against my thighs”.
The two were in the teacher’s house within the school premises at around 4am, raising questions on why the two were alone at such an unusual hour in January this year.
The advances had started a month earlier with a strange visit and request from the teacher.

With her parents working away from home, Moikokobetsi was staying with her brother when Qhala visited her last year.
She was not attending Qhala’s school at the time and the teacher wanted to know if she knew of any vacancies at her school in Mafeteng as he was helping a friend find a job. He left his mobile number with her.

After making enquiries Moikokobetsi sent a call-back message to Qhala, marking the beginning of regular communication between the two.
Moikokobetsi alleged she ignored Qhala’s advances but that did not put him off.
When she enrolled at the school where Qhala was teaching in January, the advances allegedly only intensified with the teacher using Moikokobetsi’s vulnerability to offer food items.
At one time he invited her to pick vegetables from his garden.

The girl said she refused the offer but the advances did not stop.
He was allegedly sending her WhatsApp messages calling her names such as “baby” and “honey”.
In court papers, it is alleged Qhala promised her goodies which he asked her to collect at his house at 4am when neighbouring teachers would still be asleep.
The girl said she did exactly that.

Once inside the house, Qhala allegedly started running his hands all over her body saying he was searching for a recording device to avoid being bugged.
He allegedly said he wanted to sleep with her. When she refused, he pleaded to be allowed to “just press it against the thighs”.
Moikokobetsi said she stormed out of the house and fled.

Before the incident, she had been confiding in one of her friends whom she showed the romantic Whatsapp messages from Qhala as well as allowing her to listen in to his calls.
The friend, who was also one of Qhala’s students, spilled the beans.
Qhala has lost his job and he will not be allowed to teach anywhere in Lesotho.

In terms of the Children’s Protection Act, the Sexual Offences Act and the Penal Code he is likely to spend not less than 15 years in prison if convicted.
In a bid to regain his job, Qhala approached the Ombudsman asking him to restrain the principal and the school board from hiring another teacher pending re-investigation of his case.
He had initially agreed with the school that he would resign and leave the school quietly but the district education department smelt a rat.
The department blocked his resignation and asked the school committee to investigate Qhala’s conduct and take disciplinary action.
Qhala also wants the Ombudsman to investigate the department for this decision.

Ombudsman Advocate Leshele Thoahlane issued a restraining order but the school proceeded to recruit another teacher.
The school has now filed an urgent application in the High Court seeking the review of the Ombudsman’s restraining order.
Qhala also complained to the Mohale’s Hoek police who called the principal to their offices and interrogated her.
The principal has asked the High Court to stop the police from harassing her.

The principal says she is “being unlawfully forced, coerced and pressured to confess that (Qhala’s employment) was unlawfully terminated”.
She said that on May 22 a senior officer at the office of the Ombudsman, Leshapa Tšosane, threatened to have her arrested for violating the Ombudsman’s lawful order when she hired the new teacher.

She said Tšosane and his officers “were very hostile, humiliated me in front of the other teachers of the school”.
The principal said the Ombudsman’s order was unlawful and ultra vires in that “it was issued even before the (school) could carry any investigations whatsoever”.
“It is outside the actual powers of the Ombudsman,” she argued.

She said the restraining order is “actuated by malice and ulterior motives to harass and frustrate (the school committee) as well as the students and teachers in the execution of their lawful duties especially when the actual hiring was done by the (Teaching Service Commission)”. “Failure to fill the post would result in dire consequences for the learners who have not been taught since the resignation of (Qhala),” she says.

Senate Sekotlo

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