James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
The DA welcomes the tough sentences handed down last week to boarding masters of Cefups Academy, a private school in the Mbombela local municipality.
Two boarding masters were found guilty of assaulting four learners, were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment or a R45 000 fine, and declared unfit to own firearms. The third received a lesser sentence of one years imprisonment or a R30 000 fine. He was also declared unfit to own a gun.
In his judgement Magistrate Mandla Sambo stated that the sentence must reflect the strong stand of the law against crime, but must also be fair. He further stated that teaching institutions should produce credible results and that children must be treated in accordance with the Bill of Rights.
The DA believes that this sentence will pave the way for learners and parents across Mpumalanga to stand up for their rights and say no to corporal punishment. The South African Schools Act expressly forbids corporal punishment, and the DA once again calls on education MEC Reginah Mhaule to establish what the causes are of increasing levels of intolerance among teachers in our province, and address those issues.
The DA will therefore write to MEC Mhaule requesting her to form a joint task team comprising her department and the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison to investigate the Cefups Academy, and if necessary, have it de-registered as education institution.
We further reiterate our call on MEC Mhaule to launch an aggressive campaign throughout Mpumalanga educating teachers on corporal punishment, the South African Schools Act, and using non-violent measures to instil discipline.
Corporal punishment has no place in South African society, and the DA appeals to all learners, teachers and parents to immediately report it by sending an anonymous email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to fax it to 086 652 7237.
All tip-offs will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.