Cape teacher charged after beating pupil, disabling her
By Ashleigh Furlong | GroundUP
Cape Town - The case against educator, Linda Fadane of Nal’ikamva School in Mfuleni has been postponed after she was charged with the assault of Siphokazi Tyalidikazi.
It is a case which both Miss. Tyalidikazi and her mother hope will result in justice.
Miss Tyalidikazi was Grade 5 when Ms. Fadane allegedly caned her with a hosepipe over not completing her classwork. The incident has resulted in her being unable to use her right hand.
“The doctor said it [had affected] the nerve,” said Nobantu, Miss. Tyalidikazi’s mother, explaining what she was told when she took her daughter to the hospital for treatment. The family has since been told that if the pupil continues to be unable to use her hand it will have to be operated on. The teen claims that since the incident, she has had to learn to write with her left hand and this has impeded her performance at school. She also claims that her mother helps her with basic tasks, including bathing.
“We [have] actually entered into so many costs,” Nobantu, the teen's mother, told GroundUP. She said the her daughter was admitted to Melomed hospital in Gatesville in September last year and that her medical aid funds were depleted.
The family claimed the school’s governing body was campaigning on behalf of Ms. Fadane and that they had asked for people to come to the teacher’s court appearance to support her.
Nobantu said that her daughter has been called a “bad influence” by the school. She added that since the incident her child has been victimised by Ms. Fadane and that even after the incident, she was still the teen's teacher.
“We want justice to be served,” said Nobantu, adding that they are also hoping to be compensated for the costs that they have incurred as a result of the incident.
“[The] only way [I will] be happy is when the court passes judgment against her,” said Nobantu.
Sonke Gender Justice’s government and media liaison Patrick Godana told GroundUP corporal punishment was nothing new in the country’s schools and that his organisation wanted to help schools understand the law around corporal punishment. Mr. Godana was at court to support Miss Tyalidikazi.
“We know what we see in schools is a reflection of what is happening in the community. This is a country with high levels of violence,” said Mr. Godana. “They (the teachers) will justify this nonsense by saying ‘you beat with love’. What is beating with love? Any form of inflicting pain to a child is a violation,” he said.
The Western Cape Department of Education (WCED) confirmed that they found Ms. Fadane guilty of misconduct.
“She was found guilty and sanctioned by the WCED. I am unable to comment on the criminal case as this resides with the SAPS,” said Jessica Shelver spokesperson for the Western Cape’s Education Minister Debbie Schafer.
“The department views allegations of corporal punishment in a serious light. Corporal punishment is illegal in terms of the South African Schools Act. Our district offices provide training and advice to schools on discipline, as required. We provide extensive guidelines on our web site on dealing with all form of misbehaviour. Schools manage discipline in line with their code of conduct. Learners and their parents may lodge complaints with our district offices and can phone our Safe Schools Call Centre for advice on 0800 45 46 47,” Ms. Shelver said.
When asked why the teacher still taught Miss Tyalidikazi after the incident, Ms. Shelver said the pupil's mother didn’t ask for her child to be removed from the teacher’s class.
Attempts to get comment from the principal of Nal’ikamva School were unsuccessful. We were also unable to contact Ms. Fadane.
The case has been postponed to May 30.
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