School faces animal cruelty charges amid corporal punishment probe

2014-09-17 14:56

A Mpumalanga private school known for its severe beating of pupils has now been accused of animal cruelty.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) said they found 27 pigs at Cefups Academy near Nelspruit kept in enclosures that had no clean water, and three of the animals were so emaciated they had to be euthanised.

NSPCA spokesperson Christine Kuch said a senior inspector visited Cefups on August 29 after obtaining a warrant and found that the pigs’ feet were submerged in mud, the stench of their faeces and urine was unbearable and their shelter was not suitable.

Kuch said Cefups Academy owner Simon Mkhatshwa was warned to take care of the pigs and the situation would be monitored.

“Prosecution is under consideration. In the interim, as per our policy, we are educating them and that is in process,” said Kuch.

Kuch said the animals were kept for rearing and not used for educational purposes.

Attempts to get comment from Cefups principal and spokesperson CM Mafokane were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, on September 25 the Mpumalanga department of education is expected to announce its decision on whether to close down Cefups Academy for using corporal punishment after investigators found evidence that the school still used this illegal form of punishment.

The department launched an investigation last month following the death of a pupil, Paballo Seane (19), on August 7 after she was allegedly brutally sjambokked for failing a test. Seane is arts and culture deputy minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi’s niece.

“[Mkhatshwa] has submitted his reasons why the school should not be closed down. We’ll read the content and look at implications of whichever decision we will take. We’ll probably have a decision by September 25,” said provincial education spokesperson Jasper Zwane.

Despite many cases of corporal punishment been reported against the school since it opened its doors about 20 years ago, the department has done two investigations.

The first investigation was done in May 2009 and the school’s management was warned to stop using corporal punishment.

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