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BIG BEND – U-Tech High School has fired one of its security guards for alleged attempted rape and sexual harassment of female pupils within the school.

The identity of the security guard will not be revealed for now because formal charges of sexual misconduct have not been preferred against him. The guard was served with a dismissal letter on August 29, 2018 and this publication has seen a copy of it. “I regret to inform you that your employment with U-Tech High School has been terminated with effect from August 28, 2018 for the following reasons: (a) attempted rape, (b) sexual harassment,” reads in part the letter of dismissal. The dismissal comes after the security guard was found guilty by a disciplinary inquiry on two charges; one of attempted rape and another of sexual harassment.

Before appearing before the disciplinary inquiry, the guard was suspended and slapped with three charges; two of attempted rape and one of sexual harassment. “You are charged with serious misconduct in the form of attempted rape in that: at the end of 2017, you attempted to rape a schoolgirl by trying to coerce her to come with you to the bathroom while on duty to protect her at night,” alleges the charge sheet. In the second count of attempted rape, it is alleged that around June 2018, the guard attempted to rape another pupil by blackmailing her.
“...you (guard) also attempted to rape another schoolgirl by trying to coerce her to provide you with sex in order to cover up for (her) case of being in possession of a cellphone at the hostel, something which is against school rules and regulations,” reads the second count.

In the third count of sexual harassment, it is alleged that, in April 2018 while on night duty, the guard ‘sexually and verbally harassed’ two hostel girls on two occasions. However, the charge sheet does not explain in detail how the alleged sexual harassment occurred. According to the guard, he entered a plea of not guilty to all the charges when he appeared before the disciplinary inquiry. However, he was found guilty on two counts and subsequently dismissed. “We wish you success in your employment endeavours. Your terminal benefits, if any, will be administered according to schools’ policy,” further reads the letter of dismissal. U-Tech administration was seemingly reluctant to talk about the matter when comment was sought.
Head teacher, Mavela Shongwe, referred all questions to the School Committee Chairperson, Muzi Dlamini.

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