Corporal punishment row at Nelson Mandela’s old school

Qunu Junior Secondary School pupils set alight the school’s kitchen‚ broke several windows and damaged a municipal fire truck on Tuesday in a rampage to demand the abolishment of corporal punishment.

Broken glass carpeted the floor while textbooks were also scattered all over – some half burnt or wet.

The irate pupils at the late President Nelson Mandela’s former school also want their principal‚ Lucky Mhlawuli‚ to resign.

Mhlawuli denied that the school was using corporal punishment‚ telling the Daily Dispatch: “There is no corporal punishment at the school because that is against the law”.

However‚ School Governing Body chairman Tutuse Ngxekane told the newspaper that parents had resolved the school should discipline pupils.

“It’s punishment and not that one child is beaten up more than the other or abusively. Parents agreed that they should be beaten two or three lashes‚” said Ngxekane.

“Never mind that government is against corporal punishment‚ parents took that decision so that children won’t do as they please.”

A meeting is scheduled to be held today to map out a way forward at the no-fee school.

Tuesday’s vandalism comes a week after Eastern Cape education MEC Mandla Makupula warned that government would not prioritise fixing schools that had been vandalised by pupils.

Qunu JSS is the 11th school to be vandalised or torched in the OR Tambo district since April.

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