Pupil, 10, is admitted to hospital after beating with hosepipe

Image: 123RF/ Pumidol Leelerdsakulvong

A principal is facing charges of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm after healthworkers treated an injured 10-year-old boy who required hospitalisation.

Five other pupils have spoken out over incidents of corporal punishment since the police began an investigation.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the corporal punishment allegedly took place at the Lydenburg Islamic Centre.

A 10-year-old pupil at the centre was taken to hospital by the centre management on April 1, he said in a statement.

"They told nurses that they suspected the boy was suffering from an allergy as his eyes were blood red. Hospital staff became suspicious when the centre management did not want the boy to respond to questions posed to him, instead they were the ones responding on his behalf."

When hospital staff decided that the boy should be admitted for treatment, the 25-year-old principal insisted that he wanted to stay with him.

He was not allowed to do so, as this is against hospital policy.

During treatment, hospital staff noticed severe injuries on the pupil's buttocks.

"When asked what happened, he told the nurses that he was beaten by the principal with a hosepipe."

Other injuries were also noticed on the boy.

"The victim, who hails from Cape Town and came to the centre to learn the Quran, explained that the principal used to beat them when they failed his tests. At one stage he was beaten to such an extent that he started to wet his bed when asleep.

"Statements from other learners and staff members confirmed the harsh punishment the learners are going through at the centre, with five other victims having come to the fore," said Hlathi.

The suspect will appear at the Mashishing Magistrate's Court on Monday April 8.

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