Teaching came to a halt on last Friday, 17 July at uBulinga High School in the Moyeni area of Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal, with protesting parents accusing the teachers of using corporal punishment.

This comes after 20-year-old learner, Nondumiso Magubane, was admitted to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban.

The Ladysmith Gazette conducted an interview with Mr Mcebo Magubane, who is Nondumiso's older brother.

He stated that, as a family, they want to see justice done after his sister ended up being hospitilised.

"Nondumiso is a matric student at uBulinga High. She also suffers from asthma, which causes great difficulties when trying to breathe with a face mask on. When the schools re-opened, she informed the principal about her problem.

"He said she would not be allowed at school without a face mask and needs to wear one just like all the other pupils at the school," said Mcebo.

Ladysmith learner in hospital after school 'steel pipe beating'

Parents protesting outside uBulinga High School after a learner was allegedly beaten with a steel pipe by one of the teachers. Photo: Supplied.

Her brother claims that Nondumiso has been going to the clinic on a regular basis, which has caused her to miss out on school.

Having been away from school for most of June, Nondumiso returned to class on Monday, July 6. The clinic had given her medication she can use to help her breathe through the mask.

When she produced a letter to the principal stating the reason why she had been missing out on school, the principal welcomed her and told her to go to class.

"Nondumiso told us that on Tuesday, July 14, a male teacher told her she should have notified him that she has a problem, not the principal, as he is her teacher. After that, he (allegedly) beat her with a steel pipe on her back.

"The principal came to our home to beg us not to disclose this matter to the media and promised us money if we kept quiet.

"However, no money could ever be enough to undo the damage that has been done to my sister, as she is not able to walk properly after this incident.

"Besides the principal, who tried to bribe us, no one from the Department of Education has come to our family to address us about the disciplinary steps they are going to take against the teacher," said Magubane.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed that an assault case was opened at Upper Tugela police station.

This article first appeared on Ladysmith Gazette and was republished with permission.

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