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gavel thumb100 GroundUp reports that the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has set aside the sanctions imposed by the SA Council for Educators (SACE) on two teachers who assaulted learners, and directed that it reconsider its decisions in line with the best interest of learners.

The court said the SACE failed to act in terms of its constitutional obligations, and it must consider appropriate sanctions to ensure that the teachers were rehabilitated in the use of non-violent disciplinary measures. At the heart of the case are two separate incidents at different schools. In the first, a seven-year-old boy was hospitalised after he was hit on the head with a PVC pipe by his teacher in 2015. Another child was also assaulted. In the second incident, a ten-year-old girl was left bleeding from her ears after she was slapped and beaten by her teacher in 2019. The teachers received identical sanctions, despite the circumstances and the severity of the assaults not being comparable. Both were fined R15,000 payable over a period of 12 months, of which R5,000 was suspended. Their removal from the roll of educators was wholly suspended for ten years. The SCA judge said the decisions taken by SACE in relation to the incidents did not comply with numerous provisions of Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA). The decisions were procedurally unfair as the children and their parents were not meaningfully heard. The decisions were also taken without consideration of the constitutional or legislative imperatives relating to the best interests of the child. The SCA sent the matter back to SACE “to consider the imposition of corrective rehabilitative sanctions, like anger management”.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tania Broughton at GroundUp


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