COSAS Enraged Over Death of a Student in Mpumalanga as a result of Corporal Punishment:
The Congress of South African Students has received the news of the death of a student who was corporally punished by a school principal in Mpumalanga with great anger and outrage.
The students’ movement has long raised concerns over the physical assaults that still go on freely in schools, especially public schools. This is despite corporal punishment being constitutionally outlawed years ago. The failure of the department of basic education to ensure that the law is adhered to in this regard is what has resulted to the death of the student in question.
The department of basic education and SACE are guilty for what has happened to this student and the minister of basic education as the individual responsible for the highest office of the department of basic education must be able to answer for what has transpired. COSAS wants to know why the principal was not arrested immediately after the case was reported. We want to know how many parents never find justice for their children after a case of corporal punishment is swept under the carpet. We want to know why teachers, even worse principals too, are still comfortable with hitting children at school despite it being against the law.
The department of basic education has dragged its feet in ensuring corporal punishment is not only communicated as being against the law but is also criminalised. It is the school principals and the district offices who are supposed to be the first ones to open a criminal case against any teacher or principal who is suspected to corporally punish a learner. In South Africa, schools have been turned into comfortable grounds for corporal punishment, sexual harassment and sex with minors by adults in the form of teachers. All the culprit teachers continue with this because they know that they will just get a smack on the wrist whilst helpless learners suffer.
The department of basic education is slow in taking exemplary and firm action against teachers who commit all these crimes against minors because children of people in the department go to the best schools in the country where such acts would never happen.
COSAS leadership in Mpumalanga is on the ground attending to this matter and has been to see the family, which is yet to find befitting justice to what has happened to their son. The students’ movement will follow the case up until the family finds appropriate solace.
Issued by the Congress of South African Students.
Zama Khanyase – 0743348248
Khulekani Skosana- 0823467959