Durban - Phoenix residents are demanding the removal of a crèche principal after a teacher was caught on camera kicking a toddler. The teacher has since been dismissed.
The child hurt his forehead, nose and mouth.
The child's father, Preshalin Pillay, told eNCA that he noticed his child's wounds when he fetched him from Just Juniors Academy Crèche.
"His forehead was swollen, and he had lacerations on his nose. The teacher said he had hurt himself. She said she didn't know how he got hurt," he said.
Pillay said he took his son and left but was not satisfied with the teacher's response and went back to the school demanding to view footage from the school's cameras.
He claimed the teacher was hesitant to show him, but he persisted.
He said when he did eventually view the footage, he saw his son was kicked.
Pillay said this was not the first time that his son had come home with bruises from school.
He said throughout the year, when his son was hurt, he was told he was playing or running when he got hurt.
Pillay said they are calling for a full investigation into what happened on the day.
He confirmed that he had opened a case at the local police station.
Pillay said he would not have his son return to the school.
Community leader, Jonathan Annipen, said this incident is not the first the community has heard of.
He said it was disturbing that those who are supposed to take care of children are accused of abuse.
The teacher has since been dismissed for failing to report the incident.
KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza condemned the abuse and called on police to act swiftly to arrest the perpetrator. Khoza has dispatched a team of social workers to the early childhood development Centre(ECD) in question to investigate the incident.
“It doesn’t matter whether the ECD is privately run, but child protection is our responsibility. Children's rights are contained in the Constitution. We are not going to tolerate any abuse of children. We call on the law enforcement agencies to make an example of the people who abuse our children,” she said.
The Department will wait for the social worker’s report to determine what steps need to be taken against the institution in question.
Khoza said the social workers would meet with the parents of the children and the principal of the ECD.