“The Mpumalanga department of education has directed the Nkangala district director to immediately suspend the teacher from Silamba Secondary School who was recorded on a video that went viral through social media [allegedly] assaulting two women,” the department said in a statement.
“The department is of the view that a person who displays such bad conduct is not fit to stand in front of children to teach, hence the instruction to suspend him while awaiting the South African Police Service [SAPS] to investigate his case.”
The department would also write to the South African Council for Educators (SACE) to request them to institute an investigation into the alleged conduct of the teacher and to advise on the course of action to be taken against him, the department said.
Mpumalanga education MEC Bonakele Majuba expressed outrage at the video and the alleged conduct of the teacher, condemning his behaviour. “This is really bad conduct, especially at a time when the nation is inundated by acts of gender-based violence and the murder of women and children,” Majuba said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa had stated categorically that all South Africans needed to join hands to fight gender-based violence, “which is raising its ugly head in our beloved nation”.
Ordinarily, teachers were leaders of society and were expected to teach communities about the negative impact of violence and gender-based violence in particular, and lead by example in this national priority at all times.
“To suggest that we are disappointed by the conduct of this teacher will be an understatement, as we are really appalled by this behaviour,” Majuba said.
The department was encouraged that the police had apprehended the teacher and his arrest was welcomed. “We await justice to take its course,” the statement said.
African News Agency (ANA), editing by Jacques Keet