Outrage over teacher abuse

Video clip from Transkei school goes viral on Youtube.

AN EASTERN Cape teacher has been caught on video dishing out corporal punishment to schoolgirls in what appears to be the school’s staffroom.

The video, titled Busting Abusive Teachers in South Africa, was loaded onto social media site YouTube on Monday night and has since gone viral.

In the clip 13 pupils are beaten on their hands by a female teacher using a plastic pipe while other teachers can be heard jeering and urging her on.

The teacher could be identified as a Ms Mphaphela from Holomisa Senior Secondary School in Mqanduli. The pupils are believed to be in Grade 11.

“I want that class to be clean,” Mphaphela is heard saying.

“It must look like the others [classes]. I’m giving you five minutes.”

Beating2The girls each receive six lashes across their hands and some are seen crying and begging not to be hit.

One unidentified teacher says: “This is what you get when you don’t listen.”

Another can be heard reading pupils’ names from a register.

“Let me sit and eat my fatcakes,” Mphaphela says at the end of the video to one pupil who stands in a corner, weeping, with a hand over her face, showing reluctance to receive her lashings.

When the Daily Dispatch visited the school yesterday, the principal refused to comment on the matter, saying she was busy invigilating matric exams and would not be available until the end of November.

She said she would investigate the claims and track down who recorded the video.

A number of pupils, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said corporal punishment at the school was so bad that last year they organised a protest against it.

“That one [Mphaphela] is the worst of them all. She just uses excessive force,” one Grade 11 pupil alleged.

The pupils said Mphaphela used a pink plastic pipe to beat them.

A former pupil, who matriculated in 1997, was not shocked by the claims.Beating3

“It’s really nothing new. They beat us to ‘death’ while we were studying there. Some of those who couldn’t take the beatings ended up quitting school,” he said.

Education spokesman Malibongwe Mtima said the department distanced itself from the teacher’s actions.

Mtima urged pupils to report beatings to both the department and police as it amounted to criminal assault.

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) also plans to investigate.

HRC spokesman Isaac Mangena said they were in the process of visiting the school and would speak to the pupils in order to gauge the severity of the situation. “We need to speak to the kids who were beaten, but also to the principal and the school governing body to find out what the school’s stance on discipline is because corporal punishment was outlawed a long time ago,” Mangena said.


Education experts reacted with shock.

Dr Ken Alston said there was no space for corporal punishment in classrooms.

He said schools needed to look into other methods of discipline for both pupils and staff.

“I think the issue here is that the teachers themselves are undisciplined so how do they expect to get respect from the kids,” Alston said.

Graeme Bloch said any teacher caught beating children should be fired as it was illegal.

He added that beating children yielded no positive results.

East London-based educational psychologist Don Junor described corporal punishment as a gross abuse of power and plain assault.

“It’s barbaric and it’s no wonder that children are turning around and beating teachers,” Junor said.

“I’ve had my fair share of corporal punishment when I was at school but what’s happening at schools now is purely unacceptable.

“I’m sure these teachers don’t beat their own children like that.

“I don’t care how unruly the kids are, there is no excuse for that kind of behaviour.”


  1. A very uncontrolled environment particularly with the classroom door wide open allowing other learners to watch. Punishment should really never have been filmed either and having said that, pre ’94 girls either received detention or were hit on their hand with a ruler as punishment. Boys on the other hand received a good caning on their bums and more than often we would rather receive a good caning than sit an entire afternoon in detention.


  3. @Tronn u say “try being a teacher”qualified teachers have been trained and educated to deal with different kinds of behaviours,and this kind of
    punishment not being one of them.This teacher needs a good damn hiding herself.

    • Unbelievable, YOU are UNBELIEVABLE! Are you a teacher? Do you know what they go through, what their “training” means in the real world? OR are you just pulling your info out of unsubstantiated sources? See my post below. I am interested in your thoughts.

    • Have you ever taught these kids? Let me see you use those methods that are “taught” and get results! You reprimand them and they either say “what did I do?” or “I wasn’t talking” or they laugh in your face. You make them sit on the floor (taking away a privilege) and they continue with the bad discipline. You put them in front of the class, they become the class clown because now they are in a place where everyone can see them and they thrive on the attention. You ignore them and they continue with the disruptions. You put them in a desk outside the classroom, they don’t care. They get up and come back inside just to irritate you. you lock the door, they bang on it. Or if you have a prefab they bang on your classroom and walk up and down past the windows and disrupt the class the entire lesson. You suspend them. They come back and do the same thing again. There is no sense of self-discipline, You involve the parents, and they either 1) don’t believe you, or 2) they look at you and say, I know, what must I do? There is NO discipline at home. You can tell which kids have parents that discipline them and which don’t. The kids that don’t get disciplined at home will sit in front of you and tell you, they don’t care about their education, they want to become gangsters. Then you get the ones who admit they are good at home, but when they come to school they are naughty on purpose because they cant be naughty at home and if their parents knew what they got up to at school, their own parents would beat them. Let me ask you again, would you go through this every minute, of every hour, of every day and still be paid below minimum wage AND on top of that be sane? Somehow, I highly doubt it,

  4. The children of today have no respect for their parents, no respect for their elders, no respect for their teachers and are likely to become criminals in future.
    But everyone here seems to think that it is unacceptable for anyone to try and discipline these children?
    If you as parents do not want your children diciplined, then please do not cry when your children are on drugs, in jail or dead.

  5. She’s beating them for not cleaning the classrooms? What about boys?? Is the classroom used by girls only? This is unfair. I remember my brother telling me that in 1996 when he was in Matric, the teacher punished the girls for not cleaning the boys’ bathroom. Children are at school to learn not to clean bathrooms or classrooms.

    • Dear Lulu, Don’t get caught up by an issue to which we don’t have the background story to contextualize the situation leading to this. The bottom line is, how would you feel if a couple of kids had to walk into your living room, and dump a pile of trash?? You probably would freak, and ask them to clean it? What if they say no? Maybe you let it slide once, or twice (if you are trying to prove a point, that you are a saint). Eventually you will reach your wits end. What then?

  6. The reality is that coporal panishment is the only form of discipline most teachers know work best. When it was banished, these teacher were left helpless not knowing what else can they do to discipline unruly&disrespectful learners. I hope the uncooperative parents can play their role and work close with teachers instead of pointing a finger. Whose child is it anyway?

  7. can you please tell me what is TRANSKEI, i think this is dicrimanatory and looking down on other people. when you are talking about your region you call it eastern cape but when you refer to our region you say its Transkei as if we are not in the same eastern cape province.

  8. What is going to be done with this teacher. This is abuse of power. Will it be swept under the carpet like so many wrong doings by our corrupt government and officers of the law. I suppose she will be suspended with full salary and she can sit at home doing xxxxxx. (Give her some of her own medicine).

  9. The former ciskei is well developed, but look at the former transkei. the government in this province is very unfair, mayb the former transkei should toyi-toyi and ask 2 b emalgamated 2 KZN.

  10. I am alwys fascinated by negative comments on corporal punishments. when this kids beat up teachers and fight like hooligans at schools, we shout, ” BRING IT BACK!”. And when a teacher uses it to instill discipline, we WANT HER TO GET WHAT SHE DESERVES!!!

    The main breakdown in our societies is the lack of discipline. These children are uncontrollable and physically attack teachers at schools. There is nothing wrong in the WAY this teacher hit the kids. The reason however, might be a bit questionable…

    I say BRING BACK Corporal punishment!!!

  11. There’s absolutely no place for that in the new South Africa. This woman teacher is in big trouble of which she has herself to blame. The indifference show by the shool principal when interviewed by the Daily Dispatch on the matter is equally appalling! How sad!

  12. listen we where all beaten, look how we turned out. this listening to the west on how to treat kids, now they stabbing each other and beating teachers. this is unacceptable whats next they are going to bring guns and have school shootouts like in Britain and america no way. these are lashes and they are required bring corporal punishment back. thank you to those teachers that beat me.

  13. It is good that we still have people who believe that kids need some hiding ; it works if you ask me.People are just too obsessed with the rights and this equality thing ; the reality is in our societies we still have chores for girls and some for boys.
    It is a pity someone took a video of something that was meant to be a deterrent and now the world will interpret it as abuse. If feel sorry for the teacher and those kids who will rot going forward.
    We often don’t appreciate the pain we go through while younger and tend to realise the mess we could have been into when older and wiser.

  14. For one I am not against corporal punishment but as long as it’s correctly administered. I would be interested to know though how teachers nowadays deal with pupils not completing their homework, swearing, back chatting a teacher, smoking or insubordination. Detention in the afternoons merely keeps pupils away from the sports field and extracurricular activities. Our school system is failing our future leaders and the more power we take away from the educators the more our schools will resemble that of the west.

  15. Goodness me, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Many children in schools and homes face this on regular basis. Top it with violent TV in our screens, we have a winning recipe for a violent society. We shouldn’t be asking questions therefore about the violence that young people are involved in.

    The teacher should be disciplined harshly and the unions should not cover her. An example must be made now, for us to see there is justice, safety and security for children. Probably her children go to schools where physical punishment was abolished many moons ago.

    Well done for exposing this.

  16. Look at all the bleeding hearts crying child abuse. Fools!!

    I applaud this teacher for using discipline to guide her flock. Ive seen what comes out of todays schools first hand. Entitled little brats that can barely read and expect CEO salaries for a half-assed job.

    Well done teacher, keep lashing, they will thank you one day. Just as I thank the teachers that jacked me in high school.

    • East London Sucks, do you mind please toning down your language. I really don’t agree with your views, but I won’t go to the extent of calling you a fool.
      The point here is, we have different views and these need to be respected, without throwing in insults.

      We must also appreciate the reality that, today is 2013. Surely, the conditions are not the same as they were when you were being ‘jacked’ by your teachers. Today we need different disciplinary measures, those that are in line with the national and international law. That is the reality. The law discourages abuse against children. That needs to be respected.

      Please, lets engage in dialogue with tolerance and respect, irrespective of our divergent views.

      • “Today we need different disciplinary measures, those that are in line with the national and international law. That is the reality”

        I just watched a video of school boy being stabbed to death by his class mates. Yesterday, a video of a teacher being beaten up.

        That is REALITY.

        The reality is this country has gone to hell and all of you are standing pointing blame at a teacher.

        Do you know how many teachers leave the proffesion each year because of the lack of disciplin?

        Do you know how many 25 year old grade 8s we have?

        Do you know how ridiculously sheepish this country has become?

        I will tone down my language when people like you catch a wake up to the reality that AFRICA IS BURNING AND YOU ARE HOLDING THE TORCH.

    • I could not have siad it better myself.
      Our educational system are were it is because of the silly bleeding hearts,
      if we dont get discipline in schools and at home where are our children gona end up. a good hiding does lots more good than bad!

  17. As a First year law student, as far as I am concerned Assault is an offence irrespective of coporal or what, what I see on this article clearly shows that this is a crime against the interest of community because those chidren are the childrens of community and tell me how painfull will be it seeing your child beaten like that. therefore in my point of view people who are doing unfair coporal punishment must be convicted as it is not morally right thing to do

  18. I give up – can only be TEACHERS EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT.
    Sies, i cannot imagine another human hitting on my child. I hope this teacher has kids or grandkids of her own – you would not want to know what I wish upon them right now.
    “what goes around comes around”

  19. Corporal punishment is illegal. By supporting corporal punishment we are teaching the same children that its ok to break the law. My son was at some private school in Butterworth and he told me the teachers there are beating up children. I then called the principal and asked her if she is aware that corporal punishment is illegal. She told me that what other teachers are doing is wrong as she has instructed them to bring those children to her so that she can beat them up herself. I just gave up and was just happy that my son had few months left there, he is now in Pretoria and there is no beating up. He is still as disciplined as ever. Dlulisa High school in Centane was a concentration camp, I would never say I am here where I am today because of corporal punishment, I think about those poor kids who were part of the teacher’s daily entertainment, who could not take the pain, who never had parents to make them focus and look beyond the abuse. I really appreciate my parents for making me focus and those teachers who showed love and support. To the abusers, shame on you.

  20. To all of you who have a negative opinion of corporal punishment, I say this: YOU TRY WALKING A MILE IN THE SHOES OF A TEACHER, especially teachers at schools where drugs, violence and gansterism is rife.

    My fiance is a teacher, and I know of all of the issues that she faces on a daily basis. She is often in tears because of the fact that school children treat her like dirt and there is no repercussion for it. When she tries to reprimand them or punishes them, using the “approved” methods and standards devised by some extreme conservative mindless idiots, she gets told off, laughed at, or blatantly ignores! How would you feel??? What “dialog” would you “engage” in?

    I believe that corporal punish is our best solution BUT that we need moderation, and the best manner of doing it, will be to have a panel of impartial parents administer the jackings. That way, any bias from the part of the teacher is removed and all kids get equal punishment from a Parent who is use to disciplining his/her child. School kids are running riot at the moment, and it is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. I will highlight three recent issues. 1) Several kids ranging from grade 8-11 get busted bunking school to have a debaucherous party (apparently not the 1st party), and what gets done about it?? 2) Three Gr9 kids get busted for drugs , 2 test positive, 1 is negative but he has the stash (supplier?), the cops get phoned, and one kid says, “nothing will happen to me”, guess what…nothing did happen!! Incident 3) A couple of male kids are late to school (repeated offenders that are late because of bunking), a female prefect tells them to not jump the fence but to go report to the office, then the one boy grabs and chokes her, threatening assault?

    I can tell you this, if that was my daughter, that boy would get messed up!

    Where are we heading to in this country? If the pacifists had their way, then we would be head down the toilet to a reservoir of poo. Its time that someone took action, and started cleaning up our schools. Its easy to judge when your not in the situation.

    • Be in the shoes of crime victims who think because the death penalty is the solution and start killing the criminals. It does not matter how you feel, the fact is that corporate punishment is now illegal, it used to be sort of legal before, so t our feelings could have counted then. Go and influence the government to change the law to make it illegal, before your feelings can be entertained. For now we are not even supposed to discuss if the teacher was right or wrong, if she has assaulted these children, the law must be applied in this matter. If teachers are beating up children they are lawbreakers, if they do not have excellent emotional intelligence to teach, then teaching is not their calling.

      • Are you a teacher? If not, then you are not qualified or capable of passing judgment on their “emotional intelligence to teach”. Why are we trying to criminalize the educators who are trying to de-criminalize our kids, who incidentally are the future generation which will one day lead the country.

        • That is why I did not choose teaching. My question is “Did this teacher break the law?”. If the teacher did not break the law, then we can talk about if she is morally right or not. I am sure you get my point. Or may be you have that edge to beat me up Teacher?

  21. She still wants to eat amagwinya(fatcakes) with that big stomach? But in my experience with big teacher they like bitting kids maybe its their own way of trying to lose some weight

  22. just wondering if the dept of education has ever informed educators of these other methods of punishment that can be used instead of corporal punishment a teacher myself I took a decision not to punish any learner for whatever he\she does its difficult and frustrating to be working with ill disciplined learners but what can one do, just ignore them and U WILL BE SAFE,

    • Do you think by ignoring it and adopting the attitude of an ostrich, that you are helping to fix the problem? Are you a teacher who teaches because you want to make a difference or a teacher who just wants to get paid? If you are the latter, then you are perpetuating the downward spiral. Your inaction is creating the perception that the kids can do as they please, there are no repercussions. Don’t you see, that life does not work like that? Maybe if you (and other teachers like you) started caring, something might actually happen and our crime rate may go down.

  23. Just watch the demonstrations that are taking place and see how many children 10 -15 years are taking part in the violence and destruction of property.
    They need to be sent to a school for delinquents, let alone caned by the teacher.
    10 years from now they will probably end up in prison if they are not taught discipline now..

  24. […] [+] Video clip from Transkei school goes viral on Youtube. [Tue, 29 Oct 2013 22:52:48 -0700] : AN EASTERN Cape teacher has been caught on video dishing out corporal punishment to schoolgirls in what appears to be the school’s The video, titled Busting Abusive Teachers in South Africa, was loaded onto social media site YouTube on Monday night and has due to the fact gone… details […]

  25. […] [+] Video clip from Transkei school goes viral on Youtube. [Tue, 29 Oct 2013 22:52:48 -0700] : AN EASTERN Cape teacher has been caught on video dishing out corporal punishment to schoolgirls in what appears to be the school’s The video, titled Busting Abusive Teachers in South Africa, was loaded onto social media site YouTube on Monday night and has given that gone… details […]

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