The suspended Sans Souci Girls’ High School teacher and 16-year-old pupil both appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday- a few courtrooms apart, after they had both laid assault charges against each other.
The teachers, 34-year-old Clarissa Venter’s case was conducted in open court and subsequently postponed to April 18, pending further investigation.
The Grade 9 pupil’s case was held in camera, the pupil who was slapped by her teacher after a verbal altercation, says she never wants to go back to the school again.
She said “It’s toxic. It’s not a safe space for anyone to be, because if you don’t bow down to what they have to say – whether it’s right or wrong – you are then (considered) disrespectful.”
“You are victimised, bullied and treated badly,” she added.
The mother has however said she has not yet reached a decision whether she will remove her daughter,until the court case is cleared up.
“It’s not nice for any parent to see your child going through all this. I’m trying to protect her from everything,” she said.
The Chamber of Legal Students, representing the pupil lodged a complaint with the Equality Court for the violation of her rights and also called on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to probe the matter.
“What is clear from the video is the abuse of power and the bullying of a learner who is not in a position to defend herself.”
The lawyers said the Western Cape Education Department and the school had dealt with the matter in a manner that shows bias in favor of the teacher.
Both the teacher and pupil remain suspended pending disciplinary hearings.