News / South Africa

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
16 Nov 2018
6:55 am

Mom to sue over blinded daughter’s alleged assault by teacher

Alex Japho Matlala

The nine-year-old girl can no longer see after sustaining injuries to an eye after alleged corporal punishment, which is outlawed.

This photo is for illustrative purposes only, showing pupils in a class. Picture: Lowvelder

A nine-year-old Limpopo pupil was allegedly punished by a school teacher and sustained serious injuries to an eye, can no longer see and is sitting in pain at home while her classmates sit for year-end exams.

The family of the Grade 4 pupil is now seeking legal advice to make the teacher and the department pay for the alleged misconduct.

The girl’s parents accused the teacher, who is working at Mashigonyane Primary School in Mokwete village outside Burgersfort, of administering corporal punishment on their child despite it being outlawed.

The child’s mother, who may not be named to protect the identity of the child, said she was still shell-shocked by the incident.

“I am still baffled that in this day and age there is still a teacher who doesn’t understand that corporal punishment is outlawed,” said the mother.

She said she had questioned the school management team about what had happened soon after the incident and only learned about the actual extent of her child’s injuries after she was transferred to the hospital.

“They sent me from pillar to post trying to conceal the matter,” said the mother. “I was heartbroken when doctors at the hospital told me that her eye sustained serious injuries.

“They said as a result of the severity of the injury, the child will struggle to see again. We always hoped she would go to school, pass and become the cream of this family,” said the woman with tears rolling down her cheeks.

The distraught woman said she was concerned that the school didn’t seem to care about the matter. She said she was seeking legal advice to make the department and the teacher take responsibility for their actions.

Yesterday, the department of education in Limpopo said it was aware of the incident.

Departmental spokesperson Sizeka Makonde said the department had assigned its labour division to deal with it.

“Teachers are warned not to administer corporal punishment as it is outlawed and has been for many years now,” Makonde said.

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