Headmaster sues parent for libel

2012-05-03 08:57

Pretoria - A primary school headmaster from Pretoria is suing a parent for an alleged libellous e-mail, it was reported on Thursday.

Johan Joubert, head of the Garsfontein Primary School, wants R450 000 from John Hempel, a parent and former member of the school's governing body, Beeld newspaper reported.

According to Joubert's court papers, Hempel sent him a libellous e-mail, copied to other members of the governing body, in which he voiced his dissatisfaction about how Joubert allegedly victimised his daughter. In the e-mail he wrote: "You're being a bully... stop carrying on like a 'stoepkakkertjie'."

This is an Afrikaans slang word, referring to a spoilt, overweight old dog that barks incessantly while refusing to move from the veranda, not even to take care of its bodily functions.

Joubert's lawyer, Gert van der Merwe, said in court papers that Hempel was attempting to damage his client's reputation and dignity, by "implying that he was incompetent, irritating and an annoyance".

Hempel, who is opposing the claim, says he didn't call Joubert a "stoepkakkertjie", but asked him to stop behaving like one.

  • Tamarin - 2012-05-03 09:45

    Now thats a good example for his child.

  • Sacha - 2012-05-03 09:49

    Good for this Principal! Standing up against the parents for once! Teachers take such abuse from parents and bite their tongue for the sake of being professionals! Give this man a bells!

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-05-03 09:56

    Got to love Afrikaans! :)

  • porshe.vrebec - 2012-05-03 10:10

    lol!!! i m loving some Afrikaanse from now, it new French for me. one word mean so much beautyful things about the dog mmmmmm.......

  • Carlos - 2012-05-03 10:28

    I attended that school ages ago, while Mr. Joubert was still teaching Afrikaans. He was a wonderful teacher and I have the utmost respect for him. He will never victimise any child. Parents should work with teachers to provide the best possible education for the youth. Throwing a fit when your child is in the wrong is only harming your child in the long run.

  • lefnkompela - 2012-05-03 10:29 dead dead dead sue brothr sue day is made thanks for the humor

  • Andrew - 2012-05-03 10:45

    What a load of crap - get over it and get on with your lives. There are much greater problems to deal with!!!! Pathetic lot....

  • Joanne - 2012-05-03 12:07

    @ Kensong.ben.7 - If it was brought to my attention that she was being issued with detensions by prefects i would have dealt with the situation. @Philemon - You are very right my child did have a problem - being treated unfairly for not being a cardboard copy of what the school saw as a good student @Pearl - Thank you for the suggestion. I have changed schools as i did not see any improvement in the treatment of my child after several meetings were held with the Principal. @Rikesh.Ishwarlall - thanks for the obvious, she did and it has been dealt with by changing schools @ Hannes - Thank you for that. My point was to show that sometimes teachers can be very unfair in their treatment of their students @ Marion - Thanks, i must say that she has had a marked improvement in her new school. Her grades are back to normal ( in fact they've actually increased)Her whole attitude has changed, she's become more calm and is eager to go to school. I can only thank her new teacher who has been teaching for 42 years now. She clearly loves children, treats them with respect and gets it in return.

  • Loo - 2012-05-03 12:50

    IF I sued everybody that insulted me .. I would fund SCAMRAL for free.. Ridiculous this lawsuit.... bwahahahaha

  • gailcarolynhayes - 2012-05-03 20:40

    Some children are not round pegs that fit into the systems round holes. One of mine was like that. As parents it is tough to have a child like that but the educators have other children of varyig abilities who actually want to learn and i a particular child is constantly flkouting the system of the school either in the classroom or outside then the school has a responsibility to the majority whose education is being disrupted by one individual to act. Taking this child out of school and taking the child's side is not the solution. The child HAS a PROBLEM and so do the parents and unless the problem is addressed that problem will follow the family to every school until he ends up in jail. All the parents are doing here is teaching the child that he does not have to fit into society. It is called DISRESPECT for the rights of others and it is coming from the father who wrote the email to the principal. This girl's peers were the ones who gave her the detentions and there has to be a reason for that. The certificate was wrong but perhaps it was the only way to make the parents realise that they had a family problem which should be solved by family therapy because all attempts by the school had failed both with parent and child. Kids need discipline and good examples IN the home BFORE they go to school. By the time they reach school their social patterns are already cemented. 25% of children in school have specific issues which require remedial help from specialists.

  • catherineangelique.swarts - 2012-05-03 20:59

    this is funny, and also unnecessary.

  • Markus - 2012-05-04 09:15

    Watch this space! This guy did the same to my kids. I'm so glad he's now taking on someone of his own size.

      lizel.viljoenbooysen - 2012-05-07 11:04

      I cannot agree with you more Markus!

  • roodbol - 2012-05-04 10:34

    Knowing Mr Joubert he definitely does not need such a derogative 'word' thrown at him. If Hempel's daughter was behaving badly [obviously not the first time] it's good to see a principal taking a stand. This does not happen often in schools! Actions leads to consequences. As a parent Hempel should have taken his daughter with him to speak to Mr Joubert and sort out the matter. Joubert should have had a teacher or two who can then tell of their experiences of the child [and if she really behaved badly at school]. No name-calling is necessary, even if one disagrees

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