A teacher based in Matabeleland North who lost his job after he fell in love with a student and impregnated her, yesterday appealed against his employer’s decision before the Supreme Court, arguing the Labour Court made an unjust ruling to his matter.
Mxolisi Mhlanga, a former teacher at Majiji High School had no legal representation when he appeared before Supreme Court Judges Elizabeth Gwaunza; Lavendar Makoni and Nokuthula Moyo, sitting at the Bulawayo High Court.
In 2012, Mhlanga who was the Agriculture, Bible Knowledge and Divinity teacher allegedly proposed love to the pupil, a 20-year-old female and had se_x with her many times in the school’s storeroom, in the bush and near a river in Bubi.
In making his appeal yesterday, the suspended teacher who was found guilty of improper association with the student said the Labour Court erred by accepting the complainant’s evidence which he alleged was not true.
Mhlanga alleged that the young woman was bribed by the chairperson of the school’s disciplinary committee to give falsified evidence against him.
“The court aquo made an error and did not explain why they chose to listen to the story of the complainant who was a student.
“The court had no evidence that showed that there was real improper association with the minor,” he said.
“I have a problem with the court accepting the story of a complainant who clearly said the chairperson of the committee induced her to make a statement against me with a bribe.”
The lawyer representing the respondent, the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said the Labour Court did condemn the conduct of the chairperson of the committee but Mhlanga’s defence was weak as he failed to cross examine the witnesses.
The lawyer further said Mhlanga had failed to furnish the court with reasons why the complainant should be taken as a non-credible witness.
Judgment on the matter was reserved for Wednesday this week.
When she took the witness stand during the court hearing, the student who had an 11 months old baby then, gave the history of her love relationship with the married teacher which dated back to September 2012.
“He used to sleep with me anytime of the day in his storeroom, library or even in the bush. We could not go to his cottage as his wife was there,” she said.
“At one time he licked my bre_asts and told me I was pregnant. When my guardians took the matter to school, he approached me and begged me to lie to save his job.
“I did all he asked me to do and I wonder why he treats me like a mad person telling this court that we were never in a se_xual love relationship.”
The headmaster at the school, Fisani Dube also gave his testimony and alleged that Mhlanga had tried to trick the girl into changing statements to save his job.
Mhlanga, however, told the court that the pupil was making up statements as he was not the father of the child.
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