Row over teacher in pupil suicide tragedy rages on

THE Limpopo department of education will not dismiss a teacher from a school in which a Grade 8 pupil allegedly took his life minutes after receiving corporal punishment.

Departmental spokesperson Ndo Mangala said the teacher was "still innocent before the eyes of the law" and that it would "be naughty" of the department to fire him. He said investigations into allegations that the teacher had assaulted the pupil with his bare hands prior to the suicide were part of the probe.

"Before the eyes of the department he is still innocent unless proven otherwise," said Mangala.

The teacher, Isaac Sekgota, became the cause of a violent protest at Sewela Batho Secondary School near Steiloop last year when the angry community of Monte-Christo closed the school for two weeks.

This was after pupil Clarence Mojela, 19, committed suicide soon after he was allegedly "brutally assaulted" by the teacher.

Mojela had failed his grade and had allegedly "self-promoted" himself into the next standard during a "pass one, pass all" campaign at the school. The community is now divided about Sekgota's presence at the school, with some demanding his expulsion as of yesterday, while others want him to stay on.