Principal and two Mpumalanga teachers granted bail in corporal punishment case

SABC News Corporal Punishment R - Principal and two Mpumalanga teachers granted bail in corporal punishment case

The principal and two teachers of Masizakhe Secondary School in Breyten outside Ermelo in Mpumalanga, appeared at the Ermelo Magistrate’s court for allegedly administering corporal punishment to four learners. They were arrested on Tuesday after the matter was reported to the police by the parents of the learners.

The three suspects are Mxolisi Mdakane, Tau Nkosi and Mamatjie Zitha.

The school principal, Zitha, and his co-accused are facing charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and common assault.

Corporal punishment in schools: 

Mpumalanga Police Spokesperson Leonard Hlathi has warned teachers to refrain from using corporal punishment as it was abolished in the country.

“It has surfaced that the three were involved in the beating of these children after they failed to do some work. In that instance, these children managed to inform their parents. A case was then laid at the Breyten Police Station hence now they are appearing. So we are warning teachers to refrain from administering corporal punishment on learners because it is against the law.”

The Education Department is yet to take action against the three teachers. Spokesperson for the department Jasper Zwane says the alleged incident is disappointing.

“Our officials have been deployed to the school in question to gather more information which will assist us to determine the course of action to be undertaken by the department going forward. Tomorrow (Thursday), our officials will render counselling sessions to all the affected learners. We welcome the arrest done by the police in this regard. We also wish to request parents to alert us as in when such actions occur in some of our schools.”

The three suspects were granted R1 000 bail each. They will appear in court on 18 September.

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