SACE justifies sanctions in corporal punishment case

SACE sanctions are under scrutiny
Reading Time: 2 minutes

South African Council for Educators (SACE) has argued before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein that it was justified in its sanctions against the two teachers who were found guilty of common assault after administering corporal punishment.

SACE’s Matthews Mojapelo has told the court that SACE acted within the law and there cannot be questions about that. Advocate Mojapelo rejected Section 27’s argument that the two teachers received lenient sanctions and should face fresh hearings. He says the teachers had served their punishment and lawfully cannot be punished twice.

Advocate Chris McConnachi for Section 27 on behalf of the Centre for Child Law submitted in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein that SACE sanctions fall short of the constitution’s requirements. Section 27 is challenging the Pretoria High Court judgment, which instructed SACE to revise its Mandatory Sanctions Policy but did not agree to the fresh hearings.

SACE found two teachers guilty of common assault after administering corporal punishment against two primary school learners. The two teachers were fined R15 000 each of which was suspended. The sanction also included striking their names off the educator’s roll which was also suspended for 10 years.

“As it is, it is our submission that they have served their sentence. For the court to give them another hearing it is what in the criminal law is usually called an issue of double jeopardy, a person cannot serve a sentence and go back to tried again on the same issue,” Mojapelo explains.

Judgment has been reserved.

Video: Section 27 wants SCA to amend SACE policies