Section27 welcomes SCA ruling against corporal punishment

corporal punishment
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Lobby group Section27 has welcomed the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein in the case of the South African Council of Educators.

The case involved two teachers who meted out corporal punishment on two primary school learners.

In one of the incidents, the teacher used a PVC pipe to hit a learner across the cheek. This led to the learner undergoing emergency surgery.

During the delivery of judgment, the court affirmed that the council had the duty to protect learners.

Head of Section Education Rights Programme, Faranaaz Veriava, elaborates. “It was definitely genuine assault and that is the thing that Section 27 and many other public interest organisations have had to address for many years now. We are seeing an increase in violence in schools, whether it’s sexual violence, or whether it’s corporal punishment; and corporal punishment has been outlawed since 1996 but despite that, and despite, two Constitutional Court judgments, we’re still seeing a lot of corporal punishment.”

2023 report on corporal punishment

A report published by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) revealed that nearly half of the children who experienced violence in schools live in the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and North West.

The report shows that a higher percentage of children across the country reported being the subject of corporal punishment by a teacher between 2009 and 2019.

In the video below, Stats SA Chief Director for Social Statistics, Solly Molayi, unpacks details of the report: