Domenica, 21 Febbraio 2016 21:58 | SAHRC to probe alleged hosepipe assault on Free State pupil

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Bloemfontein – The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has launched an investigation into the alleged assault with a hosepipe on an 8-year-old Free State pupil.

Local police said at the weekend

that the pupil had since died from meningitis, and not as a result of her injuries.

"We have launched, on our own initiative, an investigation after reports in the media. We are taking this seriously and it is concerning that the child has died," SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena told News24.

"The commission has received complaints in the past and has noted instances where the violence committed by educators against learners extends far beyond the ambit of the definition of corporal punishment – the practice of corporal punishment is contrary to the prescripts of the Constitution."

Teacher suspended

Nthabiseng Mtambo was allegedly assaulted on January 26 after a dispute over homework, and her parents reported the case on February 9.

She died at a hospital in Bethlehem on February 14.

It was believed the pupil had died as a result of the assault, but a post-mortem revealed Mtambo had contracted meningitis, said police spokesperson Constable Peter Kareli.

He said the Grade 3 teacher at the Reatile Primary School near Reitz in the Free State was initially charged with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but due to the post-mortem results, the charge was changed to common assault.

Free State education department spokesperson Howard Ndaba told News24 that the teacher had since been suspended and faced an internal disciplinary hearing.

He said the department would also refer the matter to the SA Council for Educators.

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