Teacher suspended for allegedly inflicting corporal punishment


An Eastern Cape teacher has been temporarily suspended pending an internal investigation after he allegedly inflicted corporal punishment on a matriculant in the classroom.

The teacher from the Sandi Senior Secondary School in Ngqeleni was suspended after photos of the matric girl’s swollen hand were distributed on social media.

The exact details of the incident are still unknown.

The Eastern Cape Department of Education does say that the matriculant’s parents were advised to file a case of assault with the police.

The matriculant will also receive counseling together with her parents.

Malibongwe Mtima, spokesperson for the department, says that a multidisciplinary team has been sent to the school since the alleged incident to investigate the allegations.

Mtima again draws attention to the fact that the Amended South African Schools Act of 1996 as well as the South African Council for Educators’ (Saro) Code of Professional Ethics prohibit the practice of corporal punishment.

“Failure to comply with this has serious implications, including dismissal and deregistration by Saro.”

Mtima says parents are always encouraged to file a criminal case with the police when corporal punishment is administered.

“Even in this case, the department will side with the victim, and as such her parents will be encouraged to open a case of assault with the police, while the department continues with its internal investigation.”

According to Mtima, the learner and her classmates will also soon attend a training workshop on “what to do should this happen again”.

“With this step, an attempt is made to restore the public’s confidence in the system while encouraging cooperation between educators, learners and parents,” says Mtima.

The Eastern Cape MEC for education, Fundile Gade, has meanwhile said that he condemns schools that still apply this practice 28 years after the abolition of corporal punishment.

The MEC says the action embarrasses the education sector and the profession.

“We appeal to all law-abiding citizens, including educators, to distance themselves from the malicious and barbaric act of practicing corporal punishment. Failure to do so may result in the termination of contracts for those who find themselves on the wrong side of the law,” warns Gade.