Principal Lowers Pupil In Pit Toilet To Retrieve His Phone
An Eastern Cape principal has been served with a letter of precautionary suspension after he allegedly instructed an 11-year-old boy to get inside a pit toilet at school to search for his phone.
The alleged incident happened about two weeks ago at Lututu Junior Secondary School in Ugie at Elundini municipality.
The boy said fellow pupils were now teasing him about the incident in which he was given R50 by the principal. It is alleged that the school principal, who was using the toilet, accidentally dropped his phone and then sent the boy to search for it.
Education MEC Fundile Gade said he had learnt with great shock and disbelief of the incident.
“It is beyond disgrace that such an incident on inhumanity can be claimed against a school principal who we view as a parent and a mentor to everyone in the community. He has been served with a precautionary suspension while the investigations are continuing,” he said.
Gade said the department sent officials to the school and they were going to work closely with the family in providing all the necessary support.
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The pupil’s grandmother, 74, who cannot be identified to protect the child, said when her grandchild came home from school on a Monday he had a funny smell.
“I asked him what happened but he did not say anything. It was after I spoke to his cousin who is also in the same school that I learnt of the incident. Apparently, the principal called a group of learners to use buckets to take out faeces from the toilet to make it easier for my grandchild to get inside,” she said.
She said her grandson was allegedly told to take off his pants and only leave his underwear.
“They tied a rope around his waist and gave him two hand gloves to search for the phone. He did not get the phone, but the principal gave him R50. What happened to him is very sad. The principal, accompanied by members of school governing body (SGB), only came to see me on Friday and they apologised for what happened,” she said.
Community member Sithembiso Gwampa said what happened to the boy was inhumane, adding that the principal action has disturbed them as parents.
Petro Majola of the Khula Community Development Project that advocates for children’s rights said the boy was introduced to the worst form of abuse and his human dignity was infringed.
Provincial SA Human Rights Commission head Loyiso Mpondo said they were investigating the allegations.