According to the Goverment Gazette that was released on the 5th September 1997.
“OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
NCJ. 1164. 5 September 1997
It is hereby notified that the President has assented
to the following Act which is hereby published for general
No. 33 of 1997: Abolition of Corporal Punishment Act. 1997.”
In short, Corporal Punishment was abolished in South Africa in 1997. So after ’97 Corporal Punishment was illegal.
The definition of Corporal Punishment according to wikipedia is:
“a form of physical punishment that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behaviour deemed unacceptable. The term usually refers to methodically striking the offender with the open hand or with an implement, whether in judicial, domestic, or educational settings.“
Now looking at this video of a teacher administering corporal punishment on these 14 pupils (the last one looks to have chickened out and maybe didn’t get punished but maybe she did after the recording was stopped) a person might think that this is wrong. What or who gives this teacher the authority to do this to someone’s child??
Though that question seems rhetorical, it shall be answered. If you were to ask each one of the parents of those 14 pupils they would most definately say “thank you, keep it up” to that teacher. When the pupils go back home, their parents would probably do the same to them again! Yes, by law what the teacher did was wrong but anyone born during the 60s, 70s, 80s and early 90s (90, 91, 92, 93 and some born in 94) will tell you that they are glad they were disciplined in that way by their teachers and their parents that way.
The key word there is “disciplined” because I personally do not agree with the title of this video “Busting abusive teachers in South Africa.” This is not abuse this is love. Teachers (mostly black teachers) do this because they want to teach pupils the difference between right and wrong. If you listen closely to the teacher doing the punishing you can get the idea that there’s something wrong that these pupils did or something that they were suppose to do and they didn’t.
I remember back in 1998 I was in Junior Primary School in Grade 1 and I was punished by my teacher in a similar way. Except I got way more lashes than these kids here. I think I had about all of their lashes combined, infront of the whole class. After all that I cried from the pain and went back to my seat. To this day I am glad that my teacher did that because I know that I was wrong. The reason why I was being punished is because 2 days prior, afterschool, I was waiting for the transport to pick us up. When it came I ran behind it and chased it even before it stopped. This was a Ford bakkie. The top rear door was opened so I jumped onto the bottom rear door and hung on. Then I found myself slipping off the car and falling to the gravel road below. All this happened while the car was still moving. Imagine if hadn’t been discplined for that, I probably would’ve done it again. I might ‘ve gotten seriously hurt the next time.
I stand in support of this teacher because I feel that the younger generation of today is far too soft and far too undisciplined. Whatever they want, they get and that leads them to be spoilt. Sooner or later you see them standing up to their parents and teachers and talking back (some fighting back). She is being a mother figure to these pupils and when they grow up they will thank her for what she did on that day and probably others.
All in all, corporal punishment is illegal, but I for one hope that this teacher and her colleagues carry on what they are doing.
Siyabulela kooMama nooTata abasibethayo ngoku sasibancinci ngoba yasinceda lonto ngokukhula kwethu.