He is the second teacher in the province to be suspended after being filmed caning pupils.
Last month, a teacher at uMlazi's Okumhlophe Secondary School was suspended after a video of her caning pupils went viral on social media.
In the most recent video, which surfaced this week, the male teacher was seen hitting female pupils with a stick. Around the same time, another video emerged, also of a pupil being assaulted by a teacher. The school has not been identified.
In the recent video, the department said the school had been identified as Umdlamfe Secondary School in Richards Bay.
Kwazi Mthethwa, department spokesperson, confirmed the teacher had been issued with a letter of suspension.
“Our district officials visited the school and I can confirm that we will take harsh actions against the teacher,” he said.
In the video clip, which has since gone viral, the teacher was seen assaulting the first pupil. He then walked towards the door, grabbed another pupil and started hitting her.
The pair got into a scuffle in the front of the classroom and the pupil tried to defend herself. The teacher pushed her to the middle of the classroom and continued to hit her with a stick. Another pupil was seen writing notes on the blackboard, oblivious to the incident.
The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) condemned the incident.
Thirona Moodley, Naptosa spokesperson, said: “It is inconceivable to comprehend how the pupils felt. The conduct of this teacher and others is unprofessional, criminal and sadistic. There can never be any justification for this type of conduct. It breaches every law applicable to teachers and is common law assault.”
Moodley said the physical harm, humiliation and psychological trauma suffered by pupils would leave lifelong scars.
“Corporal punishment is an everyday occurrence in most schools. These often go unreported. We have already started engaging with our school-related gender-based violence desk to assist with advocacy in the province,” said Moodley.
Dr Rishigen Viranna, DA KZN spokesperson on education, said: “We expect swift and stern action to be taken by the SAPS and the Department of Education. We also expect the harshest consequences. They must never be allowed to teach young people again.”
He added that investigations must also look into the action, or lack thereof, by principals.
“Physical violence in schools does not occur without their knowledge and stern measures must be taken against those who attempt to hide corporal punishment and any form of violence against our pupils,” said Viranna.