In yet another incident yesterday, a parent opened a case of assault against a teacher at Nka-Thuto Primary School in Dube, Soweto.
She had returned home from work on Tuesday afternoon to find her seven-year-old son with a “bruised and swollen black eye”, she said.
The mother was given to understand that a teacher had slapped her son several times and thrown him against a school desk after calling him to the front of the class to explain what was written in his school book.
“What makes me mad is that it is not the first time I have come back from work to find my child injured at school, but no one there bothered to take him to a clinic,” the mother said.
In February, her son was injured when he bumped into another child at the school and needed stitches, she said. “But no one at the school did anything. He came back home still bleeding.”
The mother believes there are social workers to help when her child is “out of control or naughty”. “Next he’ll be beating other children, thinking it’s the right thing to do,” the mother said.
She added that she expected the education department to deal with the matter.
“She even told my child not to tell me what happened,” she said.
The case is the fifth alleged assault by a teacher that The Citizen has reported on in little more than a month.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has vowed to “deal decisively” with teachers who continue to administer corporal punishment some 18 years after its ban.
“We view the reports of continued administering of corporal punishment in a very serious light,” said department spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane. “We will bring this particular matter to the attention of our labour relations unit for appropriate action.”
When The Citizen arrived at the school yesterday, its deputy principal indicated that she had not known of the alleged incident until the local education district authority contacted her.
Soweto police spokesperson Kay Makhubela said a case of assault has been opened, but the teacher had not been arrested.
“We are aware that the parent … has reported this matter to the police. We will ensure that the school co-operates with the police investigation,” Sekhonyane said.