'Kids beaten, expelled for teasing teacher'

Given Mahlalela

Given Mahlalela

The parents of two young pupils who were allegedly given a beating and then expelled for "teasing a teacher", are demanding answers from Mpumalanga's department of education.

The expelled pupils are from Mbuzini Primary School, near Komatipoort.

One of the pupils, Hlengiwe Maphanga, 10, said: "After coming from the loo, we were told that we were leading a bunch of naughty kids in calling a teacher names because his face had sores."

Maphanga said that according to the acting school principal, Lucia Jele-Shungube, they were also punished for influencing other pupils not to allow the teacher to give lessons in the class because of his facial condition.

The Grade 5 pupil told Sowetan that she was now unable to swallow solid food because of the hiding she had received from the acting principal.

Maphanga's mother, Ngayane Mabuza, said: "I don't know where am I going to register my child because she has been expelled from the local school.

"We are really devastated and need the government to play its role in the matter because corporal punishment has been banned in schools.

"Our kids were called into the staff room where they were forced to bend down while the principal assaulted them on the buttocks using an electricity cable."

The other child who was allegedly beaten was identified as 12-year-old Zanele Mdluli.

Education department head of communications, Jasper Zwane, said: "We are probing this matter and other further charges against the school authorities."