A secondary school teacher at a South Coast school in Mbumbulu, near eManzimtoti, South Africa has landed in trouble after about forty students claim he frequently assaulted them with a plastic pipe for arriving late to school or failing tests.
* Bruises on some of the students after a teacher allegedly hit them with a plastic pipe
According to the students, who were seen leaving the school with what appeared to be fresh bruises on their legs, they have to show up for class at 6.30am, whereas school only begins at 8am.
The pupils said they dreaded going to school because of the alleged assaults that left them with bruises and welts on their calves and forearms.
Some of the students informed that one student had fainted after she was beaten by the teacher and that she was taken to a local clinic by another teacher.
“It was hectic; we thought she was dying,” said one pupil, who had marks on her legs and arms.
“After beating us, he (the teacher) became apologetic and told us he expected nothing less than a distinction in his subject. This is unacceptable. We fear coming to school because not a single day goes by without him hitting us.”
When the 18-year-old girl was contacted on phone by a reporter, she only confirmed that she was at a clinic before hanging up.
However, when the accused teacher was telephoned later for comment, he denied the claims.
“You can write whatever you like because you want to sell the paper at my expense,” he said. “I have never beaten any child at the school. Tell me, how did you get my number? What worries you; do you have a child at the school?” he asked before hanging up.
KwaZulu-Natal education head of department, Nkosinathi Sishi, when informed of the allegation on Wednesday, he said he was disgusted to hear that the school might still be using corporal punishment, despite it being banned.