Education, Arts and Culture Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says she never accused female teachers of luring schoolboys into sexual relationships.
This is despite three newspapers, including Namibian Sun, reporting her mentioning that some male and female teachers are getting involved romantically with learners during a meeting with Omusati teachers this past weekend.
“Don’t accuse me to say that I said female teachers are luring schoolboys into having sex with them,” she said.
“It is souring the relationship between me and my teachers. Many teachers are disputing that statement. Why would I vilify my female teachers as if I am not a woman? I am not happy. I am not impressed. It was absolutely not in the right context. Your article is creating tension between me and my teachers by saying they are making the boys sexual toys.”
Hanse-Himarwa further said the article was “dirty and twisted”.
Namibian Sun’s article appeared on Monday.
On the same day New Era quoted Hanse-Himarwa in an article on the same meeting, saying she had told teachers to desist from sex with learners.
The State-owned newspaper quoted her extensively, including that she said it was not only male teachers who were indulging in sexual relationships with learners, but also female teachers, especially the younger ones who pursue schoolboys.
“Stop the practice of sugar daddies and sugar mummies or ‘gogoism’ as it is known. I know nowadays teachers are graduating from the university when they are 23 and 24 and some of the boys in school are also of the same age. When they pursue you tell them that they are just boys and they need to finish school,” Hanse-Himarwa was quoted as saying.
New Era also quoted her as saying: “Sexual relationships between teachers and learners, how adults engage in this is beyond my comprehension… we cannot engage in sexual relationships with the very children we are supposed to take care of.”
Hanse-Himarwa said she did not have a problem with the New Era story.
However, she took issue with the Namibian Sun, which appeared under headline ‘Female teachers use schoolboys as sex toys’.
“The tone and spirit of the same article in New Era is different to what was written in Namibian Sun.”
Dealing with the same meeting, The Namibian newspaper yesterday carried a story under the headline ‘Absenteeism, sex with pupils irk minister’.
The newspaper said the minister had said some teachers were involved in money-making activities during school hours, alcohol abuse and sexual relationships with pupils.
Hanse-Himarwa said yesterday she never said female were luring schoolboys into sexual relationships.
Reacting to the series of newspaper articles, Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Labour Secretary Paulus Mbangu said Hanse-Himarwa must produce proof that teachers sleeping with their pupils.
“The minister must come up with specifics,” charged Mbangu.
“She must rather concentrate on solving problems facing the sector such accommodation for teachers and other infrastructure at schools. She must come up with proof, instead of making statements without proof. Let her bring the statistics. It is not fair.”
By Elvis Muraranganda: The Namibian Sun