UDM speaks out against corporal punishment in schools

Yongama Zigebe, secretary-general of United Democratic Movement (UDM). | Supplied

Yongama Zigebe, secretary-general of United Democratic Movement (UDM). | Supplied

Published Apr 14, 2024


THE United Democratic Movement (UDM) has lauded the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein regarding a case involving the South African Council of Educators.

The subject matter of this case involved two primary school teachers who physically punished two pupils.

It is revealed that, in one instance, a teacher struck a learner across the cheek with a PVC pipe, which necessitated immediate surgery.

The party has further expressed disappointment and concern over reports that the use of corporal punishment persists in schools, and has urged learners who have experienced such incidents to come forward and report them.

“It is reported that, according to a report released by Statistics South Africa, almost half of the children who have encountered violence in schools reside in the Eastern Cape, the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and North West.

“The report indicates that a greater proportion of children nationwide reported experiencing corporal punishment by a teacher between 2009 and 2019,” said the party.

The UDM has also been vocal about crime, denouncing recent occurrences in which local communities had turned to violent acts against those who were accused of committing crimes.

This involved torturing, beating, and setting the suspects on fire.

The party said such actions were completely unacceptable, and it is imperative that the SAPS take immediate action.

“We call on the South African public not to take the law into their own hands, no matter the temptation to do so. Rather, citizens should co-operate with the police and report suspected criminals.

“Engaging in vigilantism may lead to arrest and prosecution, exacerbating the problem further,” it said.

The UDM is of the view that establishing a civil order system with the required funding and assistance is imperative.

It further acknowledges that focusing only on one component of the system – the justice system, the police, or correctional services – will not suffice because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

“There must be enhanced co-ordination between the ministries of justice, police, correctional services, defence, and national intelligence.

“The UDM is of the view that it is necessary to establish a crime prevention ministry to bring these departments under one umbrella.

“In order to achieve the goal of a safe society, specific objectives and deadlines will be set for these departments,” the party said.

The Star

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