Springvale school teacher in court for allegedly assaulting boy, 11
Pretoria - The Springvale Primary School teacher who appeared in court for allegedly assaulting an 11-year-old Grade 6 learner over the theft of a bottle of sparkling water has alleged her only intention was to mentor him and prevent the learner from hurting himself.
Annelise Boot, 54, appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for the charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm she faces following the incident which took place on February 21 2020.
According to the state Boot intentionally assaulted the learner by throttling, kicking and pressing him on the chest with her knee whilst pulling his arms upwards.
The defence however argued that it would be physically improbable that the teacher could lift the learner up by his neck and throttle him against the wall given her age.
They also stated that the medical certificate provided by the state did not corroborate the learner’s version of events, with the medical examiner finding no pinching marks or abrasions to that effect.
It was for this reason among others they called for an acquittal as it was an illogical argument how such an attack was committed.
The court was asked to take into consideration evidence regarding the learner’s bias which had resulted in a general provocative attitude towards the teaching personnel and a general approach to fabricating lies when confronted with ill-discipline.
Also that he had already been identified during Grade 1 as being a problematic child having ill-discipline and issues with authority.
The 11-year-old was said to also have participated in a demonstration after the arrest of the teacher and even went to the extent of threatening another teacher by stating: “Ms Boot was first, you are next.”
Ultimately it was argued that the opportunity existed for the learner to be influenced by his parents whose conduct had since the incident been aimed at causing pure character assassination of the teacher on social media platforms rather than having the law run its course.
“The accused was well aware of threats made by the learner to injure himself including suicidal thoughts. All actions by the accused prior to the date and during the initial portion of the incident were aimed at assisting and helping him to not only better himself but from harming himself.”
The matter was postponed to April 21 for a judgment.