Teacher barred from class over pupil's death
THE Mpumalanga teacher who was fired by the department after she allegedly assaulted a school boy who later died will not be allowed to teach in the province.
The 46-year-old teacher, Sibongile Monica Mashaba, was suspended on June 15 but subsequently handed in her resignation on June 18.
However, MEC for education Reginah Mhlaule said the teacher has been discharged in terms of the Employment of Educators Act.
The Act stipulates that an educator appointed in permanent capacity who - while suspended from duty - resigns, shall unless the employer directs otherwise, be deemed to have been discharged from service on account of misconduct.
The department has directed the Ehlanzeni district director to terminate Mashaba's employment.
"This simply means that this teacher (Mashaba) will at no stage be employed in public service to work with children in accordance with the Children's Act of 2005."
The teacher may find herself locked out of the system after the South African Council for Educators (Sace) said they would tag her.
"She is still registered with us. We will follow our investigation. For now, we have nothing against her," said Sace communications manager Themba Ndhlovu, adding his organisation viewed the matter in a serious light.
"We will tag her on our system. This will ensure that wherever she goes to seek employment, they will have to verify with us and we would then be able to tell them (the person enquiring about Mashaba) that she has a pending case with us."
Mhlaule said this should send a clear message to teachers who continue to practice corporal punishment, that "we will find out and deal decisively with them".
She said a report compiled by the department's director of labour relations Willie Kutumela revealed that: "There is a probability that the late learner was beaten by the teacher concerned who further instructed some learners to also do so on her behalf."
Pupil Sebenele Ndlovu was allegedly assaulted with a broomstick on June 4 for missing school on June 1.
He died at his home on June 8 as a result of injuries.
Sebenele's aunt Mary Mlangeni said the teacher's resignation should be seen as a "guilty plea".
"This just proves that she did it. Why did she resign if she knows that she is not guilty," Mlangeni asked. "She should have faced the (internal) charges."
Sebenele's father Solomon Ndlovu said the family was not happy with the way police were handling the case.
Mpumalanga police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi said the police were still busy with investigations. "The teacher was arrested and appeared in court.
"The prosecutor declined to prosecute because of lack of evidence. Once we are done with our investigations, the docket will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on whether to prosecute or not."