Principal demands R500 after fracas

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

The principal of Maripe High School, one of the e-school projects of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), has allegedly demanded compensation from the parents of two pupils who assaulted him.

Nelson Phenduka Mathabele is alleged to have demanded R250 each for medical expenses from the parents of the grade 11 pupils before he would withdraw their suspension.

The pupils are alleged to have punched him when he sjambokked them on January 11.

The incident at the school, which was launched by President Thabo Mbeki, and several other dignitaries on April 17 last year, has raised eyebrows.

The school is in Green Valley near Acornhoek. Most of the teachers, who spoke to Sowetan on condition of anonymity, said the school needed a young enthusiastic new manager.

One of the pupils, Colbert Nyathi (18), said Mathabele assaulted them in a bid to force them to return to class. He said the other pupil, Howard Mohlala (19), asked the principal to stop assaulting them in vain.

Nyathi's mother, Meisie Nyathi (47), confirmed that the principal had demanded R500.

"He told us that if we wanted our boys to return to the school we had to pay him R250 per pupil for his medical expenses," she said.

Mpumalanga education department communications head Jasper Zwane said an investigation would be conducted.