Principal assaults pupil (12)

Chester Makana and Alex Matlala

Chester Makana and Alex Matlala

A Limpopo school principal is facing criminal charges after he allegedly assaulted a Grade 4 pupil with his fists in full view of other pupils during a lesson.

The 62-year-old principal of Nkidikitlana Primary School in Steilloop near Lephalale, allegedly attacked the 12-year-old pupil two weeks ago for not mowing the lawn in the school garden.

The pupil, Lucky Moremi, is still at home nursing his bruises.

The principal will appear in the Gilliard magistrate's court on June 1 on charges of assault.

The boy and a friend apparently ordered to cut the lawn at the school but he failed to do so, claiming the lawnmower was too heavy and too big for him.

In spite of the Schools Act banning the use of corporal punishment, the principal allegedly punched the boy repeatedly in the classroom during a lesson.

The boy's mother Annah Sonnique Moremi wants the law to take its course.

Moremi said yesterday that she was greeted by the loud cries of her child when she arrived home from collecting fire wood.

She said her son was bleeding from the head and she took him to the clinic.

"The nurses gave him sleeping tablets but he did not get better. The following day I took him to a doctor who said it would take about four weeks for the wounds to heal," she said.

Provincial education department spokesperson Ndo Mangala said corporal punishment was outlawed at schools, and that anyone who metes it out should be punished by law.

In a separate incident the department of education and police are investigating a case of theft against the principal of Mulenzhe Primary School, near Thohoyandou.

He is accused of stealing building materials from the school premises.