- The Free State education department has called for the suspension of a bus driver who assaulted a pupil.
- The incident was caught on camera.
- In the video, the driver can be seen trying to push the pupil out of the bus and kicking and punching him in full view of other children.
Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe has called for the suspension of a 56-year-old scholar transport bus driver who was caught on video assaulting a pupil in full view of other children.
The incident took place on Monday between the bus driver and a 17-year-old Grade 12 pupil from Hanover Farm School. The assault has been captured on video, which News24 has seen, but it cannot be published as it reveals the identity of children.
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In the video, the bus driver and pupil are seen in a heated exchange. The driver leaves his seat and attempts to push the pupil out of the bus.
He then kicks the child in the stomach while trying to push him out of the vehicle. The child attempts to hit the driver, who then punches the child in the head multiple times. The view becomes obstructed, but the child can be seen kicking the driver. It ends with the driver appearing to choke the child.
Makgoe condemned the incident, saying the video clip was "harrowing".
"I am completely disgusted by this physical and emotional abuse of this learner and others who witnessed this brutality," said Makgoe.
Makgoe said his department was providing transport to pupils attending farm schools to ensure that they had access to basic education and protect them as they travelled long distances to and from school.
"We have instructed the transport [company] owner to immediately suspend the driver," said Makgoe.
The incident was also reported to the Department of Social Development and the police, he said.
"Psychosocial support and counselling will be provided to learners who witnessed this horrifying abuse," added Makgoe.