In an act of discipline, the Eastern Cape Department of Education has suspended a bus operator who allowed a pupil to drive a bus full of scholars while he stood next to her drinking alcohol.

The Moshesh Agricultural High School scholar transport operator was suspended shortly after a video of him drinking while the pupil was driving went viral on social media on 16 October.

Malibonge Mtima department spokesperson said “The department learnt of the matter through social media and the operator has since been served with a suspension letter, while alternative measures are being implemented to ensure learners are not left stranded.”

In the video, the operator can be seen dancing and sipping from the bottle, while the pupil steers the bus.

Education MEC Fundile Gade said “[The] Lives of all learners, who were travelling in the bus, were put in danger and such cannot be allowed to happen ever again”.

The Eastern Cape’s transport department spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, said it was not a criminal matter because the operator was not caught drinking while driving.

Binqose said “However, we are grateful to the learners who caught the act on camera, so that we can investigate the matter and also find out if there have been previous incidents”.

Meanwhile, a principal from Mount Fletcher is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct.

Mtima said the department learnt about the matter on Tuesday through social media platforms, where it was reported by citizens and pupils.

He also said “This morning, a team consisting of labour relations officers and members of the management and governance have been dispatched to investigate the matter and submit a preliminary report”.

According to the department, both incidents show carelessness and disregard for the rule of law.

Gade added that “In addition, the Educator’s Act states that should an educator be found guilty of sexual misconduct with a learner, that is punishable with a dismissal”.