In a shocking revelation following the sentencing of a George man for sexual crimes against a minor, it has come to light that Hendrik Fourie managed to fly under the radar and worked as a teacher in Cape Town.
This after he was charged in August 2017 and let out on bail.
Fourie, 47, was on Friday sentenced in the Thembalethu Regional Court to one year’s house arrest and three years imprisonment suspended for five years for sexually grooming a minor.
Since the start of this year and up until he was sentenced, Fourie had worked at Table View Primary.
He also allegedly worked at another school in Athlone last year.
Much to the shock of Table View Primary principal Golie Gouws, Fourie had managed to fly under the radar.
Gouws said on Monday that Fourie was a registered teacher and the school had checked his references.
On discovering Fourie had been sentenced on Friday, however, he was dismissed, Gouws said.
“He was registered and employed at the other school by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED). We had no reason to suspect anything. I am as shocked as everyone else,” Gouws said.
WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond could not confirm on Monday that Fourie had been employed by the department last year, and said she would get back to the Cape Times today.
Hammond said the department had strict processes in place when appointing new employees.
“The following checks are undertaken: Any person seeking employment within the WCED is required to be fingerprinted. We then use the services of an external service provider that specialises in background checks,” Hammond said.
Joanne Barrett, advocacy manager and spokesperson for Women and Men Against Child Abuse, said: “We are fuming at the sentence.
“We feel the courts need to take a stronger view in sentencing when it comes to cases relating to children in sexual grooming and sexual abuse. Harsher sentences need to be implemented.”
Source: Cape Times