Teacher resigns to avoid assault charge
An alleged brutal attack on a pupil has come at a huge cost to a Limpopo teacher.
Mahlatse Mokgehle, a teacher at Peter Nchabeleng secondary school in Seshego, Polokwane, has quit his job to avoid action being taken against him. Mokgehle was being investigated on allegations that he assaulted a grade 11 pupil on January 23.
The teacher accused 20-year-old Tokelo Mamabolo of arriving late and of sipping a soft drink in class.
Mokgehle then allegedly punched Mamabolo several times in the face and pushed him against a window. It broke and severely cut Mamabolo on his face and head.
The provincial department of education took up the matter while police arrested Mokgehle for common assault.
He was released on warning and the matter was postponed to March 28 at the Seshego magistrate's court.
Mokgehle also allegedly tried unsuccessfully to get Mamabolo to drop the charges against him.
A teacher at the school, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Mokgehle had submitted a letter of resignation.
"Ever since the incident happened Mokgehle has been unsettled. He spent less time at the school and was always away from work.
"His resignation was not unexpected as we could see that he was no longer himself," said the teacher.
Limpopo department of education spokesperson Sam Makondo yesterday confirmed Mokgehle's resignation.
He said the department no longer had jurisdiction over him.
"There is nothing we can do because the teacher resigned while investigations were still ongoing," Makondo said.
"Police still have jurisdiction over him in terms of what he has done. The honours now rest with them to follow up the matter."
Approached for comment, Mokgehle hung up his phone.
Mamabolo said he had since left the school because he felt unsafe.
"I'm now attending at another school because my safety was no longer guaranteed, especially with other teachers who were friends with my attacker. I thought I would be subjected to victimisation for laying charges against my attacker," he said.
Police spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe said they hoped to have concluded their investigations on the incident before the next court appearance.