Free State principal appears over alleged assault of special needs pupil

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 22, 2020

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Cape Town – A Free State school principal appeared in the Dewetsdorp Magistrate's Court today on a charge of assault. 

Following a protest by pupils, which led to the 62-year-old Jimmy Roos School principal, Sakkie Joubert, being attacked, he had handed himself over to the police, the Bloemfontein Courant reported.

This after a video trending on social media depicted him allegedly assaulting a pupil at the special needs school, which is 75km south-east of Bloemfontein. Joubert denies hitting the boy and claims he is not the man seen in the video.

He was released on a warning and will appear in court again on March 24. 

In the video, Joubert is allegedly seen hitting a pupil several times at a hostel at around 10.19pm on Friday, August 16 last year. The victim is believed to be a 15-year-old boy.

Police were called to defuse the situation on the day Joubert was attacked. Other videos captured on the day were handed in to the police.

A worker, who requested anonymity, said of the night in question: “The boys were upset because they were denied access to their phones, which they usually get back on Friday evening, so they started singing loudly. 

"When the principal came, he kicked in the door, went into the rooms and hit one boy in another room on the chest several times and then the one in that video.” 

The Free State Department of Education said the incident will be investigated.

“We will be investigating and action can only be taken after that,” said spokesperson Howard Ndaba.

“If anything unconstitutional is happening, then the law will take its course. The matter will be handed over to management, who will act swiftly, but I cannot tell at this stage how long the investigation will take.” 

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