Boy dies for crime of missing a day in class
MANGWENI Trust villagers have expressed anger at the brutal assault of a seven-year-old boy who died four days after he was allegedly beaten up by a teacher at Sidlemu Primary School, near Tonga in Mpumalanga.
They have called for the removal of the teacher, whose name is known to Sowetan, because she "abuses our children".
Sebenele Ndlovu's father, Solomon Ndlovu, said if the teacher were not removed from the profession there would be many more children to bury in the village.
"She must be fired. Our children always complain about her beating them up. Now she has killed my son. If she is not removed from the profession she will continue beating other children and will kill them as well," said Ndlovu, whose son was buried on Saturday.
Ndlovu said he would stop at nothing until the teacher was arrested and justice done.
The teacher allegedly assaulted Sebenele with a broomstick on June 3 for missing school on June 1.
When he ran crying out of the classroom the teacher allegedly ordered his classmates to go and "beat him up because he was pissing her off". They allegedly carried out the instruction.
"This has been hard on us. He wanted to be a policeman but now his dream is shattered," Ndlovu said.
Ndlovu, whose family live in a hut made of tree trunks and is roofed with plastic, said when Sebenele was first taken to the clinic for treatment the nurses only gave him some pills "for his broken arm".
"He died at about 11.30pm on Friday, He was bleeding through his nose and mouth. His arm and leg were swollen," said Sebenele's aunt, Mary Mlangeni.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi said the postmortem showed that Sebenele died of "unnatural causes".
"Investigations are continuing. The docket will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, once the investigation is done, for a decision on whether to prosecute or not."
A parent from the area told Sowetan that the same teacher beat up her son for missing school last year.
"My son had tonsillitis. He did not go to school for three days. When he went on the fourth day the teacher beat him up with a stick.
"I asked my son if he had not told her that he had been sick but he said he was not given the chance.
"Clearly she saw that he was sick but she still beat him up. I did not do anything about the punishment," said the woman, who declined to be named to protect the identity of her son.
"That teacher must be stopped. We send our children to learn but she beats them up." she said.
- This article was first published in the printed newspaper on 18 June 2012