Lesufi meets ‘child with mental condition’ who ‘abused teacher’ in video

The education MEC says the child has a proven mental issue and an expected report would shed some light on the way forward.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has noted a video of a pupil insulting a teacher and said the child had a medical condition and was receiving the necessary attention. He shared a photo of himself with the child.

In the video, which is doing the rounds on social media, the pupil verbally attacks a teacher. The child can be seen holding a teacher by his tie. The pupil, who refuses to be restrained, calls the teacher names and demands to be let go.

He continues to call the teacher names and says he stinks. Another teacher attempts to intervene and the pupil continues to ask the first teacher if he took a bath.

The child then demands to be let go before throwing more verbal abuse, telling the teachers that his transport was going to leave him if they didn’t let him go.

Lesufi, speaking on SAfm, said the incident happened five months ago and the education department was dealing with the situation, together with the teachers at the school.

Lesufi visited the Lewisham Primary School on Thursday and said an independent team was appointed to deal with the issue in order to put together a report.

The child has a medical condition, according to Lesufi, who added the child’s parents provided proof of his condition and explained it.

He said it would be irresponsible for the school to expel the child, only for another school to be faced with a similar issue.

Lesufi said the matter was put on ice until the expected Tuesday report, which would be finalised by government departments.

He admitted the school had recommended the child be expelled but he saw this course of action as being irresponsible.

The MEC said he was unimpressed by the educator who leaked the footage.

The education department wants a win-win situation, according to Lesufi, who elaborated that the child on the day did not have his medication as he usually did. This led to the altercation as one of the teachers did not have access to the child’s medication, which then resulted in the child responding in a negative manner.

He said the parents had taken full responsibility and the matter was being attended to in a sensitive manner.

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