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A 40-year-old teacher from a school in Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga has been suspended for allegedly falling in love with a 15-year-old girl who is a pupil at the same school, the provincial Basic Education department said on Wednesday.

“He has been suspended yesterday (Wednesday) with immediate effect on full pay,” said the spokesman for the department, Jasper Zwane.

“It is alleged that the teacher has a sexual relationship with the pupil. The pupil is still attending the same school. We don’t have more details on this matter as we are still investigating it.”

Zwane told the African News Agency (ANA) that the teacher would be subjected to an internal disciplinary hearing, after which the department would formulate the charges against him. He said the department had sent psychologists to the school to assess the state of the pupil and to draft a report.

The suspension of the teacher comes at a time when the department is set to release a final report of an investigation into an incident that happened at Manyano Primary School in Mhluzi township in Middelburg late last year which left 14-year-old pupil, Siphamandla Choma, paralysed.

Siphamandla was allegedly assaulted by an educator after he accused him of stealing R150.

The educator was suspended in January and the department started an investigation into the matter.

Zwane told ANA that a preliminary report into an investigation had revealed that Siphamandla may have been assaulted.

He said the department would release the final report later this week.