Teacher beats boy, 8, with duster

2012-03-12 08:50

Johannesburg - A teacher has pleaded guilty to assaulting an 8-year-old boy so severely that he needed two operations to remove a wood chip in his right thumb.

Tebogo Marothodi of Skeerpoort in the North West province assaulted Grade 1 pupil Benjamin Amogelang Nakedi with a chalkboard duster for being rowdy in class, the Times reported.

Marothodi faced a disciplinary hearing last week where she pleaded guilty to the assault charge and apparently showed remorse for her actions. She was punished by having one month's salary docked.

The boy spent a week in hospital and underwent two operations.

He told how he was beaten five times on the fingertips with the duster. He said his thumb was sore afterwards and he was unable to wash dishes at home. In the morning, his thumb had become swollen. He was then taken to hospital.

Marothodi was also facing a criminal charge of assault with the intention of causing grievous bodily harm.

The boy’s family is also suing the education department for R300 000 for hospital expenses, pain and suffering.

  • Cast53 - 2012-03-12 08:59

    R300,00 for removing a splinter, if they cared for their kid they would rather have asked for the removal of the teacher, but they rather take the get rich quick route. Shame on you

      tinkerbell7 - 2012-03-12 09:31

      Ag whatever! You have NO idea what hospitals cost. they might have been km's away from the hospital and also needed to travel there. a week in hospital is no joke! But hey... Teacher please beat my child cause i dont mind paying for your actions! Get real!

      Marion - 2012-03-12 10:15

      No, Cast53, shame on you for your 'get rich quick' comment. Do you realize that if a splinter goes septic it can cause blood poisoning which can, in fact, kill someone. Do you realize the trauma that a beating like that can cause, particularly when it is in front of the entire class?

      Sam - 2012-03-12 10:44

      This is not about the splinter or about the hospital, it is about assault. A TEACHER hitting a small CHILD on the fingertips with a duster? On the FINGERTIPS?? That is calculated to do damage - this person is not fit to be left alone with children! If someone did that to me - assuming they could - I would do everything in my power to see that they went to jail.

  • Marion - 2012-03-12 09:00

    Poor kid. This teacher needs to have more than one month's salary docked. I hope the family win their case. Rowdiness is no justification for assaulting a kid like this.

      Martin - 2012-03-12 09:29

      that teacher should not be allowed near children, especially not 8 yr olds, let them teach matric and first team rugby boys, and see if they get away with an assault

      Peter - 2012-03-12 10:09

      Marion, you appear to have the answers to the problem, maybe you can tell us what educators must do when learners do not listen, and they are disrespectful and disruptive. The education department cannot or will not assist and parents put the blame and responsibility of discipline and manners onto the school. Why do you not become a teachers aid for a week and then lets see what your comments are after that.

  • Eric Mdudus Shaku - 2012-03-12 09:01

    what happend to forgiveness people,your child is still alive.

      Jeffrey - 2012-03-12 09:41

      Beating a child is called assault. The kid is 8 years old for goodness sake, means he is in about Grade 2, and the only answer to his rowdiness is violence? This person has no right being a teacher.

      Elize - 2012-03-12 09:50


      Pieter - 2012-03-12 10:26

      I am actually agreeing. We also received our share of punishement in school. In fact this is the reason why the kids do what they want, becasue this teacher tried to dissipline the kids

  • rlong1952 - 2012-03-12 09:05

    This story sounds somewhat dodge or the reporting is really bad.

  • Amanda - 2012-03-12 09:05

    joh how flippen bad and disgusting of that teacher.there are so many ways to punished kids in a desent way.thy must sweap that teacher off the teaching field.that school can be glad it's not my wonder kids dont wane go to school.

      Melt - 2012-03-12 09:18

      @Amanda, I agree this is not to way to punish a kid, but please.....what did the kid do...ask for a sweet. Parents like you .....your kid can be glad I am not his teacher. When teachers as much as talk to kids they are punished, when the kid turn out a rubbish it is also the teacher to blame??? Some parents should stand up for their teachers and assist them to ensure a better person (kid) Mommies like you normaly cry when their kids are on the way to jail. As said there are ways to punish a kid but please dont judge a teacher on a newspaper report spend some time in a classroom and found out for yourself what children are these days.

      theO rAcLe - 2012-03-12 10:09

      @Melt Agree with you 100%, don't look at it with blinkers on, you have to see the broader picture. Teachers go through hell with the new laws as a result they have no jurisdiction to enforce discipline. However...a black board duster, a bit extreme, next time try a BBB.

  • kgomotso.radise - 2012-03-12 09:08

    Ag shame poor kid.

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-03-12 09:10

    I Pray the teacher is dismissed and never enters the classroom again.

  • Kraken - 2012-03-12 09:10


      Grant - 2012-03-12 13:41

      If I were the kids parents, I'd sue the school for all they are worth! You cant place a value on this type of thing... I mean... what good is having a kid if he cant do the dishes!!? :P

  • Given - 2012-03-12 09:11

    I should have sued the educational department during my school days. I would be

  • Ad - 2012-03-12 09:11

    Tebogo Marothodi can learn from the older teachers they use to beat us without leaving any

  • Shaun.groenewald - 2012-03-12 09:12

    Should have sued that teacher that threw me in the face with a wooden sandle.

      edwardsch - 2012-03-12 09:52

      Agree. they taught you nothing. You still can't speak properly by the looks of it!!!!

      Marion - 2012-03-12 10:19

      When I was young I was sent to the office more than once for a few whacks on the palm of my hand when misbehaving. Never, in all my school years, did anyone throw anything at me or punish me unfairly or excessively.

      Sam - 2012-03-12 10:45

      Was it because you didn't do your spelling homework?

      JJ - 2012-03-12 10:47

      "threw me in the face" Hahaha!! That made me laugh

  • Daan - 2012-03-12 09:12

    Bliksem die klein hel. Hy was stout gewees, en gat moet brand.

      Ashuvha - 2012-03-12 10:24

      You are very dumb,you must be one of those who left the second grade to go and sell newspapers.

  • jurgen.eksteen - 2012-03-12 09:15

    I would like to know what kind of an "operation" it took to remove a splinter ... did the boy need to be put under, was he on life support, did he need a blood transfusion, ... The only way you need to have an "operation" is when you use a scalpel when a needle would be more suitable.

      Sam - 2012-03-12 10:47

      And you really believe the doctors and the surgeon and the anaesthetist and the whole hospital was in on this scam? Do you really honestly believe anyone is going to OPERATE on a child for a mere splinter? What goes on inside your head?

      jurgen.eksteen - 2012-03-12 11:38

      More than in your head apparently @Sam ... I assume they went to a state hospital and with the level of expertise there I can imagine that they would operate rather than use a needle to take out the splinter ... the 2nd opp is probably because they botched the first one. I know of a case of a man in Upington Gordonia Hospital (state hospital) that lay there for 2 weeks with bleeding on the brain and died subsequently, because the bright sparks there did not know that they need to make an opening in the skull to elevate the pressure. So stop trying to be clever A-hole.

      Sam - 2012-03-12 11:58

      So, Jurgen, Oh Great and Wondrous Sage: I take it you have had access to the medical records of the patient, then? How do you know it was just a 'splinter'? And if it was, how do you know it wasn't lodged in one of the joints of the finger? How do you know infection hadn't set in? How do you know the thumb wasn't damaged in some other way by this alleged splinter? The thumb contains muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels... oh but wait, you know all this. Oh right. You ASSUMED. And based on that, I'm an A-Hole. Oh well. Back to therapy I go.

  • jody.beggs - 2012-03-12 09:18


  • Ad - 2012-03-12 09:26

    I still fear Mrs Adams of 1983 who put my head under the table and whipped me ...6 times!

  • ctrhorn - 2012-03-12 09:26

    wow! teachers actions not cool at all! Shame on you! But two operations to remove ONE wood chip? Something strange there!

  • MSGRule - 2012-03-12 09:31

    What a load of crap. The poor teachers have to deal with children that is not taught manners at home. the children just do what they please at school and these poor teachers are so frustrated. Their hands are tied in so many ways. At least corporal punishment worked well in school, especially for parent that did nto give a crap. And most of the parents commenting here had it in school. 17 years ago........

      Anastasia - 2012-03-12 10:30

      Agreed. However I feel (and I am pro corporal punishment), that hitting a child on the finger tips with a block of solid wood, is definitley on the cruel side.

  • Dikeledi Singo - 2012-03-12 09:35

    Some teachers take out their frustrations on learners. I understand discipline but do it like you would do your own kids.

  • Nicki Labuschagne - 2012-03-12 09:39

    Sounds like an opportunity to make some quick cash. A week in hospital and two operations to remove splinters???? Couldn't have been too bad if this 8 year old was washing dishes - maybe that was the cause of all the trauma, pain and suffering. Maybe the dirty dishwater caused an infection? A major operation needing general surgery in a private hospital with a 3 day stay amounts to half the claimed amount! Pity the teacher lost her temper, and she shouldn't have hit him, but \attempting grievous bodily harm\ by smacking him on his fingertips? Get real folks. Stop wasting the taxpayers money and sort out the real criminals!

      MSGRule - 2012-03-12 09:47

      Agreed. That teacher must of been at the end of their rope with the little dishwashing angel.

      nsda29 - 2012-03-12 10:06

      Nick I went thru exactly the same experience as this kid over 20 yrs ago, same age as little one here. Being beaten on your finger tips!!! We use to call it 'incgucu' in Xhosa and it was a common way of punishing a child in almost every black school in the country. My fingers swelled many times to a point that I could not wash dishes. but within a few days the swelling would go away. My mom would sympathize with and then say next time don't sleep in class!

      Ashuvha - 2012-03-12 10:26

      They deserve that cash,it could go a long in financing the victim's tertiary education.

      isabellal123 - 2012-03-14 09:40

      It was bone splinters that had to be removed. Bad reporting from News24 side!

  • Vicky - 2012-03-12 09:44

    Stupid cow should have got fired!

      MSGRule - 2012-03-12 09:46

      The childs parents should be arrested.

  • Elize - 2012-03-12 09:49

    She can be glad it wasn't my child she assulted!!

  • rickvcooper - 2012-03-12 09:55

    I would kill anyone who did that to my child.

      Rudolf Smit - 2012-03-12 10:19

      then you muSt tel me what must teachers do to children that canT behave

      Marion - 2012-03-12 10:33

      @Rudolf Smit - they certainly mustn't hit them across their knuckles with a blackboard duster. That is totally unacceptable. However, if we had appropriate guidelines for corporal punishment e.g. whacks on the hand / bum in the principal's office we would not have these incidents which I'm sure occur in every school in the country.

      Dave Prinsloo - 2012-03-12 10:33

      time-outs, washing windows, there are lots of ways other than unbridled violence

  • Grant - 2012-03-12 09:59

    I think teachers are frustrated because kids of today are so rude towards them. When I used to get a beating at school I would never complain at home. Reason being the first thing my parents would ask me is what did YOU do. And I would probably have ended up with another beating at home. I still love my parents dispite of that and I liked and respected my teachers too irrespective of how many times they bliksemd me. Oh and other thing I didn't turn out to be a wife basher either. That out of the way I don't know what the circumstances where in this situation I'm just talking in general.

  • nsda29 - 2012-03-12 10:00

    If it was the 90s there wouldn't have been anything wrong with what the teacher did. Making a noise or not doing your homework, being late for school etc...... you knew a stick or a duster is waiting for you. The teacher used an old method forgetting that the law has changed. Every method of punishment now is regarded as assault. Teachers please abstain from using old methods, it may have worked for you but this is a new era. Even punishing your own kid is against the law.

  • eradingoana - 2012-03-12 10:01

    The family had been looking for this to enrich themselves. Why cant they say the teacher pay all medical costs as she apologized and showed remorse.Otherwise they must just take their kid and teach him in their shack as they want fame through him. Damn parents

  • Herbert - 2012-03-12 10:04

    What a shame! I got regular hidings, was thrown from a classroom, had dusters, erasers, pens and draughting tools thrown at me. What a "Wussified" nation we've become.

  • william - 2012-03-12 10:09

    AG SHAME!!!!

  • Amanda - 2012-03-12 10:09

    ai melt it's because of ur type child abuse is a joke to the criminals.shame on u

      Melt - 2012-03-12 14:42

      @Amanda, No Amanda it is because of my type that there are youngster around that respect older people, respect others property and lives and respect themselfs. I have never abused any of my children our any of the thousends of young men trained by me, but yes a lot of them were punished and respect me up to today for it. I dont know you but I know a few of your type of mothers who's children are behind bars . Children from very good homes but who were always protected by their mothers. The type of mother who has a permanent seat in the principals office.A type of mother who judge teachers on news paper articles? Mothers like Amanda?

  • Ashuvha - 2012-03-12 10:20

    People must learn to keep their stresses and frustrations at home.Don't take your frustrations out on kids,co workers,other drivers on the road, subordinates.

  • customdesign - 2012-03-12 10:25

    This is like the dark ages of apartheid- Im so glad those times are over- one of my buddies landed in intensive care after been beaten by a teacher and nothing happened to the teacher- this is one of the good things about the new South Africa- that these teachers have to take account for their actions. Let her pay up- it will be a lesson well worth learning

  • Amanda-Leigh - 2012-03-12 10:34

    if a teacher had done that to my child, they would require the services of a proctologist to remove the chalboard duster!

  • Suzanne - 2012-03-12 10:34

    Tombela - are you mad? The child was beaten that he landed up in hospital. I am sure if it was your child you would sue them too. At least this will stop further actions in school. This is the one we are hearing about. What about the others that have gone unpunished. And I am sure the abuse is more prevalent in the rural areas. But hey if you think its ok then whatever lets you sleep at night

  • Nathi - 2012-03-12 10:44

    For me.Be it a teacher/family member that beats my child like that, they will land up in ICU. Does a 7yr old really deserve such a beating? C'mon people, so he didn't do his homework. Why not come up with a creative punishment, cause now, he clearly won't be able to do any homework for the next couple of weeks/months. What is so sad is that this childs access to education has now been hindered.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-03-12 13:49

      talking about education --- the heading said 8...reading builds nations.

  • Yolanda - 2012-03-12 11:23

    What the hell is an 8-year old doing in Gr1!! He was most probably making trouble with the little ones!! Hit him harder next time!!

      Sam - 2012-03-12 12:00

      You sound like a real sweetie-pie, Yolanda. Compassion personified.

  • pasca.motaung - 2012-03-12 11:54

    Feel sorry for the kid he doesnt deserve that kind of punishment. it reminded me of my Gr5 std 3 those days who gave me 150 lashes for not doing my homework could sit for a week, still angry for him because there's still evidence of that day on my butt to date.

      Emily-Jane Elson - 2012-03-12 14:02

      150 Lashes?? Holy crap that's extreme..

  • stefan505 - 2012-03-12 13:55

    Maybe the education department should sue the parents for bringing a "rowdy" kid to school that is not properly mannered at home! I'm being fascicious off course, but in my days, if my parents found out that I was in trouble at school, they wouldn't sue the school, they told the teachers to give me more next time! Oh, how I miss the good old days of a goeie pakslae! I really sympathise with teachers these days.

  • Ogodiseng - 2012-03-12 17:35

    great, its time tht these teachers are shown that coporal punishmnet has been out-lawed

  • isabellal123 - 2012-03-14 09:36

    Btw - bad reporting News24. It's not a wood splinter but a bone splinter that had to be removed. His finger was broken because of the hitting on his finger-tips by the chalkboard duster. Capital punishment has been banned from schools for this exact reason. Give the child detention or extra homework or make him write out "I must listen in class" 100 times. And call in his parents if he is so disruptive but breaking his fingers, that's not on.

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