A GUIDANCE counsellor from a prominent Pietermaritzburg primary school in the city’s suburbs is expected to appear in court today for allegedly molesting a seven-year-old pupil. According to a source, it is believed more than one child could have fallen victim to the alleged molester.
Heartbroken and infuriated after placing their trust in the counsellor to mend their child’s problematic behaviour, the boy’s family are asking for the full might of the law in handing down punishment.
They are also appealing for parents of any other children who may have been molested to also come forward. The man, believed to be in his early 30s, was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning after police spent hours tracing his whereabouts.
His identity as well as the name of the school that employed him, which are both known to The Witness, cannot be revealed yet due to the sensitivity of the case.
It is believed the man was dismissed from the school a few days before his arrest, but this could not be confirmed.
During his first year of schooling in Grade R, at age five, the boy’s parents last year consented to him attending regular sessions with the school’s guidance counsellor, who is based at the school.
It is believed the boy showed signs of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), impulsivity and attention-seeking behaviour, which affected his conduct in class.
With regular feedback from the counsellor on the pupil’s progress, his parents were pleased when his academic and sporting performances had increased significantly this year.
However, red flags were raised about a month ago when the pupil started describing what his parents thought were suspicious games and activities being played during the counselling sessions.
Describing the physical role-play games, the boy alleged his counsellor would sometimes “pretend” they were monsters or dogs in activities that included tickling and soft tackling.
After immediately raising their concerns with the school’s principal — who allegedly promised to investigate the matter — earlier this month, the parents took the boy to the District Surgeon.
The doctor reportedly confirmed their child had been molested with signs of extensive anal scarring.
“I cannot describe how disturbing it was hearing the results and knowing this has happened to our child who we send to school thinking he is in a safe environment. It takes so much to restrain the disappointment and the anger from making you lose it,” the boy’s distraught father said.
A case was opened at the Alexandra police station, which was then transferred to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) for investigation.
According to a police source, officers worked tirelessly from Thursday evening to try and trace the counsellor, because the address given to the school by him was allegedly incorrect.
Eventually, after hours of gathering information, the man was found and arrested at a house in Epworth.