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In this modern-day age, one would believe that sexual harassment is not permitted at schools. However, in South Africa, victims have come forward with accusations against teachers at the Belfast Academy School. It is, indeed, sad and humiliating that children must suffer under the evil desires of grown-ups. Recently, the Guardian Liberty Voice published an article on intimidation at this school, and now several children have sought help from the enslavement of abuse happening at the South Africa school.
Evidence has been provided that a teacher, Madelene De Lange Holtzhausen, has been abusing young male students for an extended period of time. The teacher has sought to intimidate the students into having sex after school hours, sending money and airtime, and buying gifts for the victims. Students are embarrassed, ashamed, and bullied into a relationship with Holtzhausen. By contacting several students via social media, namely WhatsApp and Facebook, Holtzhausen would have explicit sexual conversations. One student, whose name cannot be identified for protection, could not endure the relationship and sought help. Since exposing the teacher, Holtzhausen, a mother of two boys, disabled her Facebook account.
The above Facebook conversation is in Afrikaans, which is a commonly spoken language in South Africa, between the teacher and student.
Teacher: Meet me after school at our secret place
Student: I do not think it is a good idea to carry on meeting anymore, and I do not enjoy sex anymore
Teacher: Make sure you are there, and I know you enjoy sex. I bought you a gift
Student: I will be there and what did you buy me. I am afraid that people will find out
Teacher: I cannot wait to get my hands on you. The gift is a surprise.
Student: We had sex with each other, and it is hideous to continue, we must not do it again.
Teacher: Think about your school marks that can suddenly become low, I can fail you. It is not hideous; it is what people do, and then people enjoy sex. You must just get used to it. Do not trust anybody and don’t tell anybody, keep this our little secret.
Student: Yes teacher I will not tell anybody and please do not fail me. Thank you for the money and the airtime, I will be able to access WhatsApp today.
From this conversation, it would appear that the teacher is intimidating the student and even threatening to fail him if he does not commit to the demands made. The student is overwhelmed with guilt and emotionally confused, feeling trapped in a situation that does not have an ending.
The student approached White Movement World Wide (WMWW) for help. The WMWW is an organization that concentrates on helping young white students worldwide, and in particular, around South Africa. The South Africa branch of the organization is under the leadership of Connie DeWitt. Flippie Potgieter, who is an investigating officer for the movement, was approached by the student for help and they are busy investigating the story. The WMWW is planning on taking action against the teacher and school.
In the above message, the ninth grade student told Potgieter that the teacher wrote her cell number on the board and told the learners to send an introductory message. The learners all sent messages as instructed, and after a few weeks, the teacher began sending reply messages to several students.
The student told Potgieter that Holtzhausen began sending strange messages asking if he had sex and the pupil messaged back saying that he was still a virgin. The teacher told the student that she had sex with other men and would make it a rule to have sex in the classroom, as well as the rugby field. Then, Holtzhausen also described how she would show him. One day, the teacher forced him to stay late after school had finished and continued the sordid conversation of sex. The student received explicit photos on WhatsApp, and eventually, blocked the teacher from communicating. Not giving up, the teacher continued to harass the pupil on Facebook and the student embarrassed by the whole incident subsequently blocked the Facebook account and sought help.
Since exposing Holtzhausen, several other children have come forward with stories of abuse. Parents have been notified the institution and are horrified that the school has allowed a teacher to abuse the children. Moreover, it has also been noted that this same teacher was dismissed from the school for sexual abuse previously but reinstated. The WMWW, along with parents and affected children, will take action against the teacher and school, which is situated in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Child abuse and sexual harassment are serious offenses, and South Africa is not exempt from the exploitation. Parents cannot depend on the justice system of South Africa to take action, given the fact that corruption is notably a cause of concern. Therefore, the WMWW of South Africa has committed to seeking justice on behalf of the distressed children who suffered at the hands of a merciless teacher.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
Edited by Leigh Haugh
GuardianLV: Racism and Bullying at Carolina Academic School
GuardianLV: Intimidation at Belfast Academy School
Interview With Flippie Potgieter
All Article Images Courtesy of Flippie Potgieter – Used With Permission