A girl, aged 12, was given more than 200 lashes on her buttocks and all over her body by a teacher, according to the latest report on child cruelty at schools to emerge from Swaziland.
The pupil at the Florence Christian Academy Primary School near Hluti was ‘tortured and brutalised’ by her enraged teacher, according to a local newspaper report.
The Swazi Observer said the male teacher who it did not name had punished her for allegedly spreading ‘malicious gossip’ that he had sexually assaulted female pupils at the school.
The newspaper reported, the teacher had a stick, ‘which was big enough to kill a snake and started beating the young girl’.
It added, ‘She screamed and asked for forgiveness, but this seemed to infuriate the teacher more as he continued subjecting her to unbelievable torture.’
The paper quoted the girl saying, ‘The first stick got broken to pieces and he pulled another one but it also broke. Still, he was not done as again he pulled another one.’
The girl added, ‘I lost count of the beatings but I recall that by the time the pain was unbearable, the beatings had exceeded 200 if not 300.’
Police were said to be investigating the incident.
Excessive corporal punishment of children in Swazi schools is commonplace.
In February 2015 it was reported the headteacher at Mayiwane High School gave a boy 15 strokes of the cane after he was caught not wearing his necktie correctly.
In other reported cases, the headteacher at Salesian Catholic High School, Swaziland forces boys to lower their trousers so he can beat them on their bare buttocks.
In 2012, Save the Children Swaziland condemned teachers at Lusoti Primary for beating all the children at the school after one pupil made a noise in assembly.
In October 2011, the same group told the United Nations Human Rights Periodic Review held in Geneva that corporal punishment in Swazi schools was out of control. It highlighted Mhlatane High School in northern Swaziland where it said pupils were ‘tortured’ in the name of punishment. It said, ‘Teachers can administer as many strokes [of the cane] as they desire, much against the limit stipulated in the regulations from the Ministry of Education.’
In a separate case, girls at Mpofu High School were flogged by teachers on their bare flesh and if they resisted they were chained down so the beating could continue. The girls reported they received up to 40 strokes at a time.
SCHOOL BEATINGS OUT OF CONTROL
SCHOOL FLOGS BOYS ON BARE BUTTOCKS
SWAZI SCHOOL ‘TORTURES’ STUDENTS
CHILDREN CHAINED AND FLOGGED BARE
PROBE VICIOUS SCHOOL BEATINGS
SCHOOL FLOGGINGS OUT OF CONTROL
SCHOOL HEAD PUBLICLY FLOGS ADULTS