Principal held for beating pupil

2011-09-24 00:00

HOWICK Primary principal Sivenandan Pillay appeared in the Howick Magistrate’s Court yesterday for allegedly beating an 11-year-old Grade 6 pupil over a broken bench.

The boy’s mother, who does not want to be named, said her son was playing with others outside the class when the bench was broken.

She said the pupils, including her son, alleged the principal singled out the 11-year-old and beat him “with his bare hands”.

“What I heard is that only my son was beaten up for the bench. My son said his body was sore from the inside. His father is not taking it well and has said he detests people who abuse defenceless children,” said the mother. She teaches at the school on contract.

She said that yesterday afternoon she received a call from another teacher threatening to report her to the police for committing similar assaults on children at the school if she does not withdraw the charge against the principal.

“This was a threat in defence of the principal, but why haven’t they reported me if I committed crimes against pupils? I don’t have time for this as my focus is to care for my child now,” she said.

Attempts to get comment from Pillay were unsuccessful.

Howick police spokesperson Captain Lolly Moodley confirmed that Pillay was arrested on Thursday afternoon and released on warning the same day.

He said the common assault case was postponed to October 3.

Education Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said the district office is investigating.

“The law is very clear: corporal punishment is a very serious offence that can lead to dismissal. However, at this stage it is difficult to comment on this very case since we need first to establish all the facts.”

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