The teacher from the Sans Souci slap video following her first court appearance. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Cape Town – The Sans Souci Girls' High teacher who slapped a pupil at the school will return to work on April 2.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Jessica Shelver said on Friday that after a disciplinary hearing Sans Souci's school governing body (SGB) had decided to give Clarissa Venter a fine and a final warning.  

The 34-year-old Venter, who was appointed by the SGB and not the education department, also has to attend anger management classes. Shelver said the WCED would not issue a statement as Venter was not a department employee.

On February 5, the Afrikaans teacher was recorded on video having a verbal altercation in class with the pupil over a book, which led to her being shoved and slapping the pupil.

The mother of the 16-year-old Grade 9 pupil from Gugulethu had removed her child from the school at the beginning of the month before her disciplinary hearing could start.

Venter is still due to make a second appearance in court on April 18 on an assault charge brought by the pupil's mother. She has also brought assault charges against the pupil, who appeared in court in camera last month.

The aggrieved child's lawyers had said before her hearing the mother had no confidence it would be "fair or impartial". 

The Chamber of Legal Students said: "The decision to withdraw the learner from the school was prompted by concerns for her well-being, in the face of the unfair and unlawful treatment she has been subjected to and the extremely hostile environment the school has created for her. 

"This is not an environment conducive for her to study in… In such circumstances, the mother has no alternative but to take her child out of the school. This is in the best interest of the learner."

The pupil said of San Souci after her court appearance last month, before leaving the school: "It’s toxic. It’s not a safe space for anyone to be, because if you don’t bow down to what they have to say – whether it’s right or wrong – you are then (considered) disrespectful. You are victimised, bullied and treated badly."

Apart from the court case, the pupil's mother still intends to take legal steps against the school and the Western Cape Education Department for her rights allegedly being abused.

Cape Times