Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
A 33-year-old Catholic brother who was a teacher at Driefontein Catholic Primary School in Mvuma committed suicide by hanging after nine Grade Four school pupils whom he was teaching reported him to the school authorities for alleged sexual abuse.
Acting Midlands police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende confirmed the incident which occurred last week when Brother Benedict Matura of Driefontein Mission in Mvuma committed suicide following allegations of fondling nine Grade Four pupils at the Catholic run school.
“I can confirm that we received a report of sudden death where Brother Benedict Matura who was a teacher at Driefontein Catholic Primary School committed suicide. However, we are still to establish the reasons why he committed suicide. His body was found hanging from a tree branch at the teachers’ cottage after he had failed to report for duty the previous day. The body was taken to Muonde Hospital Mortuary and we are still carrying out investigations,” she said.
However, a source at the school told Sunday News that Brother Matura was in the habit of fondling girls in his class and was reported by some of the girls to the school headmaster. On the said date, the source added, Brother Matura was summoned to the headmaster’s office where he was informed of the allegations being levelled against him.
“Brother Matura was summoned to the headmaster’s office soon after assembly where he was asked to write a report on the allegations of sexual abuse that had been reported by the nine girls from his class. The girls alleged that Brother Matura was in the habit of fondling their breasts in class. The school headmaster also informed him that he was going to report the matter to the police and mission authorities,” said the source.
Brother Matura, the source said, left the headmaster’s office and disappeared, only to be found dead.