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Principal's sister and kitchen staff member arrested for 'assaulting' KZN teacher

Nivashni Nair Senior reporter
Two members of the kitchen staff of a Tongaat school were arrested for allegedly assaulting a teacher on Friday. File photo.
Two members of the kitchen staff of a Tongaat school were arrested for allegedly assaulting a teacher on Friday. File photo.
Image: Suhaib Salem

Two members of the kitchen staff at a KwaZulu-Natal school were arrested on Saturday for allegedly assaulting a teacher on her head with a stick.  

The National Teachers’ Union (Natu) said the incident took place at a school in Tongaat, north of Durban, on Friday. 

The name of the school is being withheld as one of the accused is the principal's sister and has not yet appeared in court. 

“The teacher was attacked by the school kitchen staff and hit on the head with a stick. This incident took place around 1pm after the meeting of staff. Earlier, the principal had a heated argument with the victim regarding one-day salary deduction for disapproved sick leave application.” 

“The principal left the meeting in high emotions, shouting that he is leaving this school and no one among the staff members will take charge of it,” said Natu general secretary Doctor Ngema.  

The teacher was allegedly confronted by one of the kitchen staff for “harassing her brother”.

“She hit her on the head with a stick. The teacher was badly injured and wounded on the head, with her face covered with blood. This traumatic and devastating episode took place in broad daylight in front of other teachers and learners,” said Ngema. 

A case of assault was opened at Tongaat police station. The pair are expected to appear in court on Monday. 

“Natu is concerned about the rising incidents of violence in schools. We call on authorities to commission an investigation to establish the root cause of this catastrophic incident. We must send a clear message that violence cannot be tolerated in our schools. We further urge the department of education to address the issue of school safety and appoint trained security personnel,” said Ngema.

Natu president Sibusiso Malinga said the union condemned violence in schools with the contempt it deserves.

“Bullying and onslaught has no space in our schools. We want to reaffirm our call for creation of safe schools and plead with the department of education to hire competent security staff for the safety of our teachers and learners,” he said.

“The call for professionalism and maturity among the teachers cannot be overemphasised. We expect them to be exemplary and must desist from involving themselves in any conduct endangering their lives and those of children entrusted in their care.”

KwaZulu-Natal education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the department had received a report of the incident. 

He said the department was investigating.


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