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Acting KZN primary school principal charged for assaulting pupil

By Sibusiso Mboto Time of article published Jun 29, 2021

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DURBAN - TEACHERS’ unions have questioned why a teacher facing an assault charge for allegedly beating a pupil has been allowed to lead a school.

This after it emerged that an acting principal of a primary school in KwaDukuza had already appeared at the KwaDukuza Magistrate’s Court in May over an incident which allegedly took place in 2018. At the time of the incident, it is understood that the acting principal was a teacher.

SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said they were dismayed at the development and questioned the attitude of senior officials in the department.

“This is just bizarre, how do you allow a matter to drag on this long? The incident took place in 2018 but it is only now that we hear that some form of action is being taken against the educator. Somebody needs to answer for this,” she told The Mercury after verifying the details of the case. She said they would monitor the case and see how the department dealt with it.

The National Professional Teachers Organisation of SA (Naptosa) criticised the use of corporal punishment at schools, citing the South African Schools Act which bans corporal punishment.

“A principal of a school must conduct himself in an exemplary manner and lead by example. Teachers should protect learners, any assault, physical or verbal, is unacceptable,” said Naptosa provincial chief executive Thirona Moodley.

She insisted that an acting principal facing such allegations should not lead the school until their name has been cleared.

National Teachers Union’s (Natu) Sibusiso Malinga questioned how the matter had landed in court with little involvement from the department.

“The department is the employer, if the beating incident happened at school the department should have taken the lead on the matter. We hope that a thorough investigation will be conducted to get to the root of the matter,” said Malinga.

The Education Department’s Sihle Mlotshwa said they condemned the administering of corporal punishment on pupils by educators

“We take a dim view of the matter because we have cases over the years where educators have been dismissed because of this.

“We are now investigating the case and will be able to make a pronouncement and take appropriate action once all the facts have been presented to us,” said Mlotshwa.

According to the police, the teacher is set to return to court this Friday.

THE MERCURY

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