Principal in court on serious assault charges
LYDENBURG - The 25-year-old principal of the Lydenburg Islamic Centre was arrested by members of the South African Police Services on April 4, following alleged incidents of corporal punishment administered to learners at the centre.
It is reported that on April 1, a 10-year-old learner had to be taken to hospital by centre management, where the nurses were informed that they child might be suffering from from an allergy as his eyes were blood red. Hospital staff became suspicious when the centre personnel did not want to allow the boy to respond to questions but chose to respond on his behalf.
When it was decided to admit the boy, the principal requested to stay behind with the child. This request was denied as it is against hospital policy. Upon examining the child, the hospital staff noticed severe injuries to his bottom. When they asked for and explanation, the boy told the nurses that he had been beaten by the principal with a hosepipe.
The child had to undergo an operation as a result of his injuries.
The victim, who hails from Cape Town and came to the centre to learn the Quran, explained that the principal used to beat them when they failed his tests. At one stage he was beaten so severely that he began to wet his bed at night. Statements from other learners and staff members confirmed the harsh punishment the learners were being subjected to at the centre. Another five alleged victims also then broke their silence.
The suspect will appear in the Mashishing Magistrate's Court on April 8 on five counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The provincial SAPS again urged educators to refrain from administering corporal punishment to learners, as it is unlawful.
Editor: Anchen Coetzee
Subeditor: Lynette Brink
Submitted by: Col Mtsholi Bhembe