Dismissed teacher appeals

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

A Mpumalanga teacher, who was dismissed by the education department after she was found guilty of intentionally burning a pupil with hot soup, has appealed against the decision.

Enesia Ubisi, a teacher at Tonga's DD Mabuza High School in Nkomazi, was found to have thrown hot soup at 20-year-old Debra Hlobile Mkhondo's breasts following an argument last year.

On Friday Ubisi filed an appeal with the department against her dismissal.

But the department's spokesman, Hlahla Ngwenya, said Ubisi was found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after pouring the hot soup on the schoolgirl.

He confirmed that Ubisi had appealed against the dismissal.

Ngwenya said MEC for education Siphosezwe Masango was the the only person to whom Ubisi could appeal.

"It is every teacher's right to appeal when they feel that they are unfairly treated, and we will deal with this appeal accordingly," he said.

Ngwenya said Ubisi threw hot soup at Mkhondo following an argument while at a study camp last year.

"The pupils were being served lunch when a disagreement broke out between Mkhondo and Ubisi on whether the pupil wanted beef or chicken soup.

"The teacher argued that all pupils who had opted for chicken soup and not beef soup had been advised to register their names.

"But when Mkhondo insisted that she had registered for chicken soup, an argument ensued and Ubisi threw hot soup at her," said Ngwenya.

Mkhondo sustained third degree burns to her breasts and was admitted to Tonga Hospital.

But the teacher was not arrested because the Mkhondo family decided not to lay charges against her.

However, the department hauled her before a disciplinary hearing last year.

The department's decision to fire Ubisi was only announced last week.

Ngwenya at the weekend cautioned teachers against administering corporal punishment to pupils.