Pretoria(South Africa) – A magistrate court in Alexandra, Johannesburg, has sentenced a school teacher, Philippine Rakosa, to one year imprisonment for caning a grade two pupil.
The Sowetan newspaper on Friday in Pretoria said that the teacher was jailed on Wednesday for hitting an eight year pupil with a hosepipe for failing a class test.
The paper said the incident occurred on Feb. 8, 2014, at Gordon`s Primary School in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg.
The publication quoted the Magistrate, Gideon Suhnetler, as saying that it was time teachers realised that corporal punishment was outlawed in South Africa.
It said that a medical doctor testified that the child suffered hand sepsis, a skin infection that changed the wound to various colours.
“ Her hand no longer works properly and there are fears it might not recover entirely, “ the doctor said.
The paper also said that the pupil testified via video feed that the teacher assaulted her, claiming that she had copied from another pupil.
According to the paper, the pupil`s mother told the court that the teacher offered her bribe to close the case.
The teacher, according to the Sowetan, said she paid the money after being told to do so by her Head Master.
Rakosa said the head master wanted the matter settled before the media got the information.
The magistrate, however, said that it was impossible for an adult like the teacher to accept a liability if she had not committed the offence.
He said the teacher`s testimony was not trustworthy and was aimed at defending herself.
The paper quoted the prosecutor, Jackie Letsoalo, as requesting the court to jail the teacher for five years.
The magistrate exercised leniency and jailed her for one year because she was the sole breadwinner in her family and had two children.
The teacher`s husband, the publication also said, was unemployed.
The Sowetan said that while there were many cases in the country, this was the first time a teacher had been sentenced to prison. (NAN)