Fighting teacher found guilty

2008-04-22 00:00

A Pietermaritzburg magistrate has found a local teacher guilty of punching an ex-colleague on school property at uMbambangalo High School, Table Mountain, two years ago.

Ntombifuthi Patricia Mdladla (40), of Imbali Unit 18, will be sentenced on Thursday for assaulting Jane Nokwazi Mhlongo (36).

The court rejected Madladla’s claim that she acted in self defence after being called a “bitch” by Mhlongo, as the first attack was verbal and not physical. Magistrate H.R. Fobian found that Madladla acted out of proportion.

Mhlongo testified that she left her class in search of a chair, and when she returned, one of her pupils came and fetched a mop to clean the staff room on Mdladla’s instructions.

When Mhlongo stopped the pupil, Mdladla came in and swore at her, Mhlongo said.

She said she went to the head of department to report the incident. Madladla came in behind her and punched her.

Fobian found that state witnesses corroborated Mhlongo’s version, but said there were discrepancies in the defence’s version.

Madladla testified that she went to apologise to Mhlongo, but an altercation ensued. She followed Mhlongo to the head of department’s office, where Mhlongo swore at her and rushed at her with a shoe in hand. She decided to strike first, in self-defence.

The court said it found it difficult to establish clear reasons why Mhlongo would assault Mdladla and found it unlikely that the accused would have followed the complainant to the HoD’s office and then act in self-defence.

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