Mom guns for teacher accused of slapping pupil, prepares for another court challenge
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CAPE TOWN - Legal Aid South Africa (Legal Aid SA), which represented the mother of a former Grade 9 Sans Souci Girls' High School pupil filmed being slapped by a teacher, claims preparations to approach the Western Cape High Court were at an advanced stage.
A R150 000 claim in damages was lodged in the Equality Court against Clarissa Venter following the 2019 incident, where a video showed the teacher slapping the pupil and the pupil pushing a desk at the teacher.
Venter had taken the pupil's phone away which resulted in the argument.
The assault charges against the teacher were withdrawn in the same year of the incident and the damages claim was withdrawn in 2020, but Legal Aid SA stated they would reinstate the matter.
Cape Town Head of the Legal Aid SA, advocate Elroy Machelm, said they still hold the mandate to pursue the case.
“We are at a relatively advanced stage of our preparations and we still intend to approach the Western Cape High Court, by way of the Equality Court. We will follow our instructions and proceed with this application in the pursuit of justice and the intended recourse to the benefit of our client.”
However Venter’s lawyer William Booth said when the matter was set down for hearing the mother of the former pupil withdrew the case and the Equality Court did not have jurisdiction to hear it.
“The mother gave no reason for her action and currently there is no case against Venter. She has not been served with anything and it must also be highlighted the case had nothing to do with racism. I will be opposing the case if they approach the court. Legal Aid SA relies on taxpayer money and they will be wasting it as the case has no basis. They withdrew a case in court and now want to go to another court,” said Booth.
Meanwhile, ANC education spokesperson Khalid Sayed noted that the teacher was fined R20 000 and given a final written warning and mandatory behavioural counselling sessions following a disciplinary hearing.
“The teacher is not the victim, the teacher is the perpetrator of an assault on a pupil, under the care of the school, the principal and WCED. ”
Education MEC Schafer said: “The WCED does not have the legal right or power to institute disciplinary charges against someone it does not employ. The school’s SGB, on the other hand, which is the employer, did indeed take disciplinary action against the teacher. The other matter referred to has not been finalised yet.”