Teacher suspended over deadly affair with student



Lekhetho Ntsukunyane

St Boniface High School yesterday suspended a teacher who allegedly murdered his pregnant former student-turned-lover last week.

A source at the Maputsoe-based school told the Lesotho Times the 31-year-old teacher (name withheld) would remain suspended until the outcome of police investigations into the case which has left the local community in a state of shock.

The teacher, who hails from Ha Mabote in Maseru, was arrested last Friday after his alleged lover—an 18-year-old who completed her COSC studies at the school last year—was found dead at her home in Ha Nyenye village.

According to information gathered by the Lesotho Times this week, the girl’s body was discovered submerged in a tub of water on Thursday morning.

The girl, the Lesotho Times further heard from sources at the school, was five months pregnant and had dark marks around the neck, suggesting that she could have been strangled before her head was submerged in the water.

The teachers also said circumstantial evidence led to the arrest of the teacher, a married father of one, who allegedly impregnated the girl last November.

“We heard that after this unfortunate incident of the then 17-year-old girl student being impregnated by her teacher, the girl’s family held a meeting with him and reached an amicable agreement that involved monetary compensation. This was done to save the teacher and the student from embarrassment. This was also done to save the teacher’s marriage and job because he could have been fired and banned from teaching if the issue had been made known to the school management,” one staff member said.

However, the school management eventually heard about the issue and this, according to the staff members, angered the teacher who accused the girl of “spreading” the information, thereby compromising his job and marriage. He was said to have threatened the girl over the phone.

“The same week the girl died, the information about their alleged relationship which led to the pregnancy was trending on Facebook. The school board had already started investigating the issue and the teacher was alerted about it,” said another staff member.

“The girl had even reported to her parents that the teacher threatened her, accusing her of spreading information about their relationship and pregnancy,” another teacher added.

Repeated efforts to get in touch with the girl’s parents for comment were fruitless yesterday while the accused teacher’s cellphone was continually on voicemail.

Meanwhile, police spokesperson Clifford Molefe yesterday confirmed the teacher’s arrest but said he had been released on Monday pending further investigations.

“Maputsoe police arrested a 31-year-old man following the death of an 18-year-old girl who was reportedly pregnant. We are told the man is a teacher. He was released yesterday pending more investigations. He will only appear in court when the investigations have been finalised,” Superintendent Molefe said on Tuesday.

St Boniface High School Principal Alina Mohapi also confirmed the arrest and said details could only be provided by the Leribe Senior Education Officer, Sekhotseng Adam-Molapo.

“I can only confirm that one of our teachers was arrested on Friday. If you need details, I can refer you to the Leribe Senior Education Officer because I am under her supervision,” Ms Mohapi said.

For her part, Ms Adam-Molapo on Tuesday confirmed receiving “a report about one male teacher from St Boniface High School who was arrested by the police for allegedly killing a former schoolgirl. The information we have is that the teacher is suspected to have been in love with the girl and later impregnated her.”

“As a ministry, we cannot focus on the issue of the alleged murder because that is a criminal case to be handled by the police. Ours, together with the school management, is to investigate the issue of a love affair and pregnancy of a schoolgirl involving her teacher. This is in complete violation of the law governing the conduct of teachers. The board will meet and if it is convinced that the teacher fell in love with the girl, there will be no choice but to fire him.”

Contacted late yesterday for any developments to the story, Ms Adam-Molapo said she had not yet been informed about the decision taken by the school board after it met in the morning to discuss the case. Ms Mohapi was not available on her mobile phone and sources said she left the school premises immediately after the board meeting.

However, a reliable source at the school confirmed the suspension.

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