KZN MEC loses appeal against ex-pupil

2012-06-05 00:00

EDUCATION MEC Senzo Mchunu has lost an appeal, with costs, against a young man who suffered an eye injury nine years ago back in his school days.

Simphiwe Shange was an indirect victim of corporal punishment, having been struck in the eye by the buckle of a belt his deputy principal allegedly used to hit a fellow pupil.

Aged 15 and in Grade 9 at Gcwalulwazi High School near Eshowe at the time, he accepted his teacher’s explanation that it had all been “a mistake”.

For three years, Shange simply lived with the consequences until, when he was 18 and wearing an eye patch, a family friend encouraged him to report the matter to the Public Protector. The Supreme Court of Appeal noted on Friday that the way in which Shange has been gravely let down by adults was a distinguishing feature of this case. The appeal court said it was satisfied that a good case existed for Shange to proceed with his claim against the MEC.

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