Equality Court case against Sans Souci teacher in 'slap video' withdrawn, says lawyer

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A screenshot of the incident.
A screenshot of the incident.
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  • The Equality Court damages claim against a Cape Town school teacher accused of slapping a pupil has been withdrawn. 
  • Clarissa Venter's lawyer William Booth says he received communication regarding this on Friday. 
  • However, Legal Aid South Africa says it intends reinstituting the case at a High Court instead.


The Equality Court damages claim against Cape Town school teacher Clarissa Venter, who was filmed slapping a pupil at Sans Souci Girls High, has been withdrawn.

Venter's lawyer William Booth said he had received notification on Friday that the case had been withdrawn against Venter.

"Today I received documentation saying the claim in the Equality Court was withdrawn," Booth told News24.

Clarissa Venter.
Clarissa Venter.

Venter was filmed slapping the pupil in class during an argument. After Venter took the pupil's phone away, the pupil was filmed pushing a desk at the teacher  and pushing her, and Venter was filmed slapping the pupil. 

READ | Sans Souci slap: charge against teacher withdrawn

Booth said it had been set down for hearing in the Equality Court next week. He understood that the Equality Court did not have jurisdiction to hear it.

The notice sent by the Equality Court, based at the Magistrate's Court in Wynberg, said simply: "Kindly take notice that the complainant hereby withdraws the action filed under the above case number."

Damages

News24 reported previously the pupil's mother was seeking R150 000 in damages from the teacher.

At the time Booth said the claim included the allegation the pupil was assaulted because she was of a different race and background to Venter.

Venter was sanctioned with a fine, a final warning, and attendance of anger management sessions by the School Governing Body.

Booth said the case had had "nothing to do with racism".

Spokesperson for Legal Aid South Africa Victor Mfanafuthi Shabangu told News24 they still intend reinstituting the matter at a High Court, to set a precedent.

"The matter in the Equality Court in the lower court will not set a precedent but only in the High Court," he explained.

Venter still teaches at Sans Souci High School.

The charges of assault that Venter had faced were withdrawn in August 2019.

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