Video shows Sans Souci pupils hugging teacher after physical altercation
12 February 2019
A video clip has surfaced of pupils rallying behind a Cape Town teacher who was captured on earlier video footage slapping a pupil at Sans Souci Girls' High School.
A crowd of girls clad in their school uniforms are seen surrounding the teacher as they take turns to hug her.
The teacher, who appears to be touched by the support from them, puts her hand to her heart. The pupils cheer, sing and dance in unity for her.
In the earlier video footage, which was circulated on social media for much of last week, the teacher is seen in an apparent verbal disagreement with one of her pupils, which escalates. The pupil shoves the teacher who retaliates by slapping her across her face.
Both the teacher and the student have been suspended pending their disciplinary hearings. A date for the pupil's hearing is set for Thursday.
The pupil faces five charges at her disciplinary hearing, according to her legal representative, Yolisa Nocanda.
According to Nocanda, the charges are intimidation by verbal and psychical threat intended to harm a person; ignoring or failing to carry out specific instructions; actions which bring the school's name into disrepute; violating the rights of other learners to receive education by disrupting classes, preventing teachers from teaching; and violating the rights of the teacher to carry out their task to the detriment of the school, staff, teacher and fellow learners.
In addition to the disciplinary hearings, counter-assault cases have been opened by both parties.
The teenager's mother previously told News24 she was "at peace" and knew her child would get through this ordeal.
"I don't know what the outcomes will be but I trust God in everything," she said.
"The body language from the teacher told me a story. I saw the body language of the teacher. I didn't see my daughter get up. I didn't see her raise her voice."
The South African Teacher's Union (SAOU) on Monday threw its weight behind the teacher.
"The SAOU wishes to emphasise that we support our member and her labour rights," the union said in a statement.
The union added that it would provide legal representation for the teacher "if permitted to do so". It said a legal team had been appointed. In the meantime, the union has urged people to view the incident in context to "avoid exacerbating the situation by sensationalising the story", saying it would impact negatively on both learners and the education system.