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Principal accused of assaulting learner

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

A MASERU police officer, Marou Hanyane, has filed an assault case against the principal of Kingsgate High School, Mmina Makhothe, who allegedly whipped his son for delaying to produce proof that he had paid school fees.

Mr Hanyane said his son, a Form B student at the school in Mafeteng, was badly beaten up with a plastic whip on Tuesday by Ms Makhothe. The learner allegedly sustained bruises on one of his legs.

Mr Hanyane said on the day in question, a teacher went around classrooms to remind students to pay their school fees and also told those who had already paid to submit the receipts to the principal’s office.

He said his son had already paid and proceeded to the secretary’s office to his submit. However, the secretary referred him and other learners to the principal’s office.

“My son told me that he had been beaten for delaying to submit the bank receipt,” Mr Hanyane said.

“His leg was swollen and he had bloody marks from the whipping. I was livid when I saw the bruises because I had paid the school fees the previous day. I did not wait to be reminded to pay the fees and yet my child was assaulted for simply delaying to take the bank receipt to the principal.”

The Maseru-based police officer in Maseru said that while he was not against disciplining children, Ms Makhothe had gone too far.

“I am not against the idea of disciplining children. In fact, I am a disciplinarian myself. But there is a line between discipline and assault. This is not even a lawful assault. It is an assault with an intention to cause bodily harm.

“I am very angry. You do not assault a child for such a trivial reason. This should not have happened. It is corporal punishment and it is unlawful,” he said.

Mr Hanyane said he did not report the matter to the school management because that would be as good as expecting the principal to be a ‘player’ and a ‘referee’ at the same time.

 

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