Speaking on talk radio station 702’s early breakfast show last Friday, Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi vowed to shut down the Tebogo Kgobokoe Arts Academy after a Carte Blanche expose which detailed the sexual assault and coercion that some of the school’s pupils suffered.
Kgobokoe is a decorated dance champion and media personality, most popularly known for her roles as a judge on both SABC’s Strictly Come Dancing and MNet’s Dancing With The Stars.
According to a report, although the school bears her name and she serves as its principal, most of the blame was placed squarely on the shoulders of Kgobokoe’s sister (Tlami/Penny) and brother-in-law (Lulu) who was accused of touching some of the pupils inappropriately.
At the time of the radio interview, Lesufi said officials from his department were already on their way to the school in Lanseria to enact the closure.
“There will be no such school. I respect Tebogo for starting such a school but allegations are damning. We are on the side of the victims until proven otherwise,” said Lesufi.
It was later revealed that the school was not even registered with the Gauteng education department.
Allegations levelled in the Carte Blanche interview:
- Girls as young as 14 were blindfolded and had their hands tied up behind their backs at a 2018 camp as part of a game initiated by Kgobokoe’s brother-in-law. The light in the room was then turned off and the girls claimed to recall being touched everywhere, including their private parts in addition to being kissed without their consent.
- One teenager alleged that Kgobokoe’s sister encouraged her to give her virginity to one of the boys at the school which she later did. “Yes, it happened. It wasn’t by force. It happened because I listened to what (Kgobokeo’s sister) told me I should do,” she said.
- Many of the girls interviewed also alleged that they were paired with boys to have sex with while spending time at Kgobokoe’s sister and brother-in-law’s place.
- One of the girls said when she missed her period and started vomiting, she told Kgobokoe’s sister who gave her tablets to terminate the pregnancy.
Two different pupils (male and female) denied that any such games were played at the 2018 camp.
Letter sent by Head of Gauteng Education Dept to Tebogo Kgobokoe Arts Academy (TKAA) school detailing illegal operation and closure procedure.
When called for comment on Monday, a member of the school’s staff, identified only as Miss Ati, said that a statement on the matter had not been finalised but one would be drafted and disseminated in due course.