Hermanus High School Grade 10 pupil Sechaba Citwa was allegedly expelled by the principal after some of his fellow pupils reported that he carried a knife and took it out during an altercation with some classmates.
Citwa told the Cape Argus he carried a nail clipper as he cut his nails earlier that day, but had lost it at the playground by the time the school authorities searched him.
He left his soccer ball in his classroom and was dismayed to find other boys, who were not in his circle of friends, playing with it when he went to retrieve it.
When he asked for it back, the other boys allegedly claimed it wasn’t his. During the confrontation Citwa's friends joined in and it was then that he took out the nail clippers.
Other pupils reported to the principal that Citwa threatened the boys with a knife. His mother Pumza Citwa said her son was expelled without the principal hearing his defence and wouldn't listen to her.
She has since written to the school and to the Western Cape education department. Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said they had received the Citwa’s letter.
“The MEC will have a look into the facts and they will decide to uphold or dismiss the appeal. They cannot comment on the case while it is with the MEC,” she said.
“A pupil can only be expelled by the head of department following a formal disciplinary hearing and a recommendation of expulsion by the school governing body.”