The assault of a female pupil by a male teacher at a high school in Mpumalanga has been captured on a cellphone camera.

Johannesburg - A Mpumalanga teacher's alleged assault on a pupil, which was caught on video, was condemned by the Commission for Gender Equality on Thursday.

Spokesman Javu Baloyi said even when pupils provoked and verbally abused teachers, they were expected to be role models.

“In this regard, the educator is expected to still show a respect for the law and dignity of his/her learners, and not resort to physical violence by pulling of the learner's hair as it was depicted.”

The cellphone video, made by another pupil, purported to show the teacher pulling the pupil's hair, then hitting and kicking her when she fell to the floor. The girl tried to fight back. Fellow pupils allegedly had to restrain her and the teacher.

“The educator should have at least tried other means of resolving the conflict by reporting the incident to the principal and the school management,” said Baloyi.

“There must be a strong and unequivocal signal conveyed by the department of basic education that no abuse of learners will be tolerated.”

The alleged assault took place last Thursday. The teacher had been suspended. - Sapa