Teachers flout law on the rod

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Thirteen years after corporal punishment was abolished in South African schools, teachers still fall foul of the law.

In the past year alone, 78 teachers faced disciplinary action for administering corporal punishment in schools across the country.

"Twelve of these teachers have been dismissed, while 44 cases are still pending," said Josinah Moeletsi of the South African Council of Educators (Sace).

Sace is a professional organisation that regulates the conduct of educators.

Twelve other teachers were declared by Sace as being unfit to practise as teachers.

Last week Sowetan published a story about an Evaton, Vaal, primary school teacher who faces 23 counts of assault with intent to cause bodily harm.

She is accused of having put a knife in a heater and branded her pupils on their faces and arms after they failed maths tests.

The Grade 2 children were aged between seven and eight.

Unions and professional organisations condemned the alleged assault on the pupils.

Gauteng education spokesman Nanagolo Leopeng said the department has received many complaints of corporal punishment cases.

She said that in Gauteng disciplinary action had been taken against 19 teachers.

Two have already been dismissed.

"I have with me a lot of these cases. Corporal punishment is illegal and is a dismissable offence," Leopeng said.