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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2005   :  ZA Schools Sep 2005

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SOUTH AFRICA

School CP - September 2005



Corpun file 16560

East London Daily Dispatch, 12 September 2005

"Caning" teacher must go!

Teacher faces inquiry after accusations by pupils, teachers and school governing body

By Zine George
Education Reporter

THE governing body (SGB) of a Peddie school wants one of its teachers to be shown the door for allegedly caning pupils.

One of his alleged victims is a Grade 10 girl, whose hands were reportedly caned for urging other pupils to sing the national anthem after morning prayers.

"I was only reminding others about our school tradition - to sing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika on the first day of the school term," said Nandipha Mgobo, 20, of LK Siwisa Junior Secondary.

She claims her maths and biology teacher, Xolani Nondlwana, took exception and "gave me five good lashes after the assembly".

"Everyone laughed at me. I felt very humiliated."

School principal Xoliswa Ngcoza said she called Nondlwana to a hearing after other teachers reported the matter to her.

"I was not at school when this happened," she said.

Nondlwana allegedly caned Mgobo again the following morning.

"I was left with no choice but to report this to the school governing body," said Ngcoza.

"Mr Nondlwana did not want to listen to me when I told him this was illegal. He started swearing at people and marched out of an SGB meeting."

She added that the incident had been reported to the department immediately after it had occurred in April, but no action had yet been taken.

But the SGB has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure that the teacher is removed from the school.

"We cannot continue to have a teacher who does not want to listen to his own boss, let alone the SGB.

"Initially we had hoped to deal with this matter within the school and make him apologise to the parents of the child. But he is showing no respect for his manager (or) the law," said Vaziwe Nene, an SGB member.

Irate SGB chairperson Gibson Ntluka said: "Nondlwana calls us by names and labels us illiterate people. We might not be educated but we know the Constitution and policies that guide our schools.

"We are going to take this matter up with the department and, if it is still dragging its feet, we are going to help this girl file an assault charge against the teacher.

"We cannot allow our children to be victimised like this," said Ntluka.

Nondlwana denied ever caning Mgobo.

He said he marched out of the SGB meeting because the parents and the principal were not being objective.

"They were taking the side of the learner. I did not cane anyone," he said.

But other pupils claimed the teacher was lying.

"When Mr Nondlwana called Nandipha to the staff (room) on that day we were all in the assembly," said another Grade 10 pupil, Asanda Stuurman.

She told how the entire student body fell dead silent as Nondlwana was whipping Mgobo a few metres from where they were.

"You could hear the whipping sound from a distance.

"When Nandipha arrived in class, her hands were red. I don't want to make a mistake near Mr Nondlwana. I also fear him now," said Stuurman.

Ntluka said that one of the few things they required from the department was the protection of their children.

Education Department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said the department would investigate the case and take the necessary action thereafter.




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