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pupils not safe at school

By unknown | Jul 29, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Tebogo Monama, Busisiwe Mokwena and Getrude Makhafola

Tebogo Monama, Busisiwe Mokwena and Getrude Makhafola

Their parents sent them to school because they thought it would be safe there - but two of them were taken to a doctor yesterday with bruises and burn marks.

And they are not the only ones who have been hurt at the school.

At least 15 Grade 2 pupils from Letsema Ilima Primary School in Evaton in the Vaal have laid charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm against a female teacher.

Principal Tom Morajane says he knows of more than 19 reported incidents of children being assaulted with an assortment of instruments, including stones, by the teacher.

The children suffered burn wounds after she put a knife in the heater and branded their faces and hands on Friday.

Their crime was failing to give the right answers during a maths lesson.

A pupil said: "We could not figure out maths sums so the teacher put a knife in the heater and used it to burn our faces and hands. This is not the first time she has punished us.

"Most of the time she throws stones at us, pours hot tea over us and pokes us with needles."

The child's mother said: "What makes us angry is that our children are unsafe at school."

Yesterday she opened a case of assault against the teacher.

Another child told Sowetan : "I was scared to tell my parents that the teacher was beating us.

"She sometimes uses a pipe."

The teacher is now on the run and did not report for duty yesterday.

Police said yesterday that they had raided her home last Friday but did not find her.

Sowetan also learnt that the Emfuleni district education office has since charged her with misconduct and she is expected to respond to the charges within 48 hours.

Democratic Alliance spokesman Hermene Koorts said: "This kind of violence against learners cannot be tolerated.

"The teacher has to be expelled immediately and unions must not get involved. We must always ensure that our children are safe in schools."

Evaton police spokesman Inspector Molefe Mokoena said that more than 15 pupils, assisted by their parents and guardians, had opened cases of assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm.

"We have been looking for the suspect since Saturday and have not located her. She was not home nor was she at work yesterday," Mokoena said.

Gauteng department of education spokesman Nanagolo Leopeng said the department would investigate.

"The department is aware of the incident and the matter is under investigation," he said.


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