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A Mamelodi East man is claiming R4 million in damages from the education authorities after he suffered spinal cord damage 14 years ago after a teacher beat him with a broomstick.
Salby Oupa Mokonyama, 22, stated in papers before the Pretoria High Court that he was eight when he was beaten while attending the Molemo Primary School in Zebediela, Limpopo. His teacher had hit him with a broom stick in March 1998, he said.
He is claiming the damages from the teacher in his personal capacity, as well as from the Minister of Basic Education and from the Limpopo MEC for education.
He said he reported the teacher to his mother and grandmother at the time and he even had an eye witness.
The assault was never reported to the police, he said. The matter was also never investigated.
Mokonyama explained that his mother and grandmother had a limited education and did not know that what had happened to him constituted a criminal offence.
Mokonyama said he was only eight at the time and had no means of taking the matter up with the authorities. As he was a mere child, he did not know about the lawfulness or unlawfulness of corporal punishment.
He stated that he was injured on the spinal cord and that he will later produce medical evidence to prove the extent of his injuries.
Although he did not elaborate in court documents on his present disability, he stated that he is receiving a monthly disability grant of about R1 100. Mokonyama explained that it was only after a friend recently heard the story and told someone with a legal knowledge about it, that he realised he could claim damages.
The education authorities are disputing that this incident ever happened. They stated that Mokonyama had a physical impairment when he was admitted to the school as a young child in January 1998.
The matter was postponed to a later date still to be determined. - Pretoria News