18 March 2021
Pretoria – The principal of an Eastern Cape primary school has appeared in the Tsolo Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on a charge of child abuse after he allegedly forced a pupil to search for his missing cellphone in a faeces-filled pit toilet.
The 49-year-old man was granted bail of R2 500.
On March 1, the principal of Luthuthu Junior Secondary School, in the Joe Gqabi district, allegedly told an 11-year-old pupil to search for his cellphone which had fallen into the toilet.
He is believed to have enlisted the help of other pupils to tie a rope around the child and lower him into the pit to retrieve the device.
The Department of Basic Education had to provide psycho-social assistance to the pupil, family members and staff members who were traumatised by the incident.
As part of his bail conditions the principal, who has been suspended by the department pending a disciplinary hearing, will not be allowed near the school.
“His bail conditions included that he does not interfere with witnesses and investigations and not his foot at Luthuthu Junior Secondary School, where the offence was allegedly committed, until the case has been finalised,” said NPA regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali.
“The case was postponed to 27 May 2021 for further investigations.”