IN a dramatic turn of events, the woes of a headmistress at Kumalo Primary School in Bulawayo who accidentally shared a revealing picture of her private parts on her WhatsApp status mounted after police pressed charges of peddling porn0graphic material against her.
Stella Mhlanga (59) from Riverside suburb has since appeared in court facing charges of contravening Section 26 of the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act Chapter 10:04 (Possession of prohibited articles).
Mhlanga who is pleading not guilty is out of custody and the matter was postponed to Friday (February 4) for continuation of trial.
Allegations against Mhlanga are that on 2 August 2021, a tip-off was received at Provincial Victim Friendly Unit to the effect that she had posted porn0graphic material on her WhatsApp status.
Mhlanga later took down the uncensored picture, but not before some of her contacts including teachers and parents with children at her school had saved it and forwarded it to their friends. She later posted a new status apologising.
She wrote: “Good evening, sorry for what was posted on the status, someone had borrowed my phone. My sincere apologies people. It’s not my character and I don’t post such in my status. Please delete.”
The court heard that investigations were carried out by the police leading to her arrest. Upon her arrest her cell phone Samsung N910F Galaxy Note was also seized.
The seized cellphone was then referred to CID National Cyber Forensics Laboratory, Bulawayo for examination.
During the forensic examinations four pornographic images were retrieved from her phone. The nude pictures were also produced in court as an exhibit.
The court further heard that through her action, Mhlanga is alleged to have breached the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has since set up a committee to investigate the matter.
Quoted by our sister paper The Sunday News Director for Advocacy and Communication in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mr Taungana Ndoro said:
“We have the due processes which we have to follow in such situations hence we have already established a committee to investigate her.
‘‘She will also say her side of the story, after which the necessary intervention will be prescribed to her.
“However, I must say such behaviour if true is inconsistent with such positions. Such people look after our children and must be exemplary to the community.
“We have had other cases where parents have even decided to take action but as a Ministry, we have our own internal way of dealing with such matters. The findings will be made public.”