A 25 years old man attached to the Lydenburg Islamic Centre was arrested by members of the South African Police Service on 04 April 2019. The man, a Principal of the Centre was arrested following incidents of corporal punishment administered to children who are learners at the Centre.
It is reported that on 01 April 2019, a 10 year old learner from the Centre was taken to hospital by the Centre Management, where they told nurses that they suspected the boy to be suffering from an allergy as his eyes were blood red. Hospital staff became suspicious when the Centre Management did not want the boy to respond to questions posed to him, instead they were the ones responding on his behalf.
When it was decided that the boy should be admitted, the Principal insisted that he wanted to stay with him but was denied as that was reportedly against hospital policy. During treatment and other processes, hospital staff noticed severe injuries on his bums and when asked what happened he told the nurses that he was beaten by the Principal with a hosepipe.
The child had to undergo serious operations as a result of his injuries.
The victim, who hails from Cape Town and came to the Centre to learn the Quran, explained that the Principal used to beat them when they failed his tests. At one stage he was beaten to such an extent that he started to wet his bed when asleep. Statemens from other learners and staff members confirmed the harsh punishment the learners are going through at the Centre, with five other victims having come to the fore.
The suspect will appear at the Mashishing Magistrate’s Court on 08 April 2019 facing five counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Police Management in the province urged Educators to stop administering corporal punishment to learners as that is against the law.