The Carletonville nursery school, at the centre of abuse allegations that went viral, has been shut down on Thursday after it was found to be operating with an expired licence.
Gauteng MEC for Social Development Nandi Mayathula-Khoza closed the crèche, noting that she would lay a complaint of neglect against its principle.
"We have decided to close down this early childhood development centre. I ... learnt about this situation today. I was sent a clip during a meeting and I was deeply disturbed by what I saw and that is why I decided to come here," she told News24 in Carletonville on Thursday.
"Had I been informed a week ago or a year ago, I would have taken action there and then."
This comes after several videos went viral on social media showing a caregiver physically abusing minor children.
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In one of the videos, the caregiver can be seen repeatedly slapping a toddler. The motive for the slapping is not known.
In another video, a young girl is forced to clean up after having vomited. The child is slapped on her buttocks.
In a third video, a toddler is slapped for what appears to be a refusal to sleep, News24 earlier reported.
Caregiver abusing children at a crèche in Carletonville, Gauteng. (Supplied)
A 40-year-old nursery school employee, who has not been named, was arrested on March 26 and appeared in court on charges of assault two days later.
She was released on R3 000 bail and is expected back in court on May 7.
News24 was unable to get comment from the crèche. However, the principal told EWN that the videos that went viral were captured a year ago.
The principal was made aware of the videos last week after a person who filmed the events allegedly attempted to blackmail the school.
'An expired licence'
"A second practitioner sees a child being abused and she takes videos and keeps them for over a year. I think she must also be held accountable," the MEC said in response to the allegations.
In addition, the crèche in question was operating on an expired licence, according to the MEC.
"This is an illegal entity in operation. When I asked for the crèche's certificate, I looked at it and it is a 2016 certificate. The principal should have complied and applied for a new certificate, but she did not do that," the MEC explained.
As a result, the social development department is going to charge the principal with neglect as the children were under her care when the abuse took place.
Social workers are currently working on moving other minor children from this crèche to other registered crèches around the area, pending an investigation.
The MEC is not yet certain if the caregiver was qualified to look after children.
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