By Andile Tshuma
A form three pupil at Wanezi High School allegedly whipped his mother with a leather belt on consultation day while teachers and other parents looked on in shock.
Bewildered teachers at the Brethren in Christ-run institution ended up calling the police when the boy started using foul language on Saturday afternoon.
The pupil — who cannot be named because he is a minor — was allegedly angered by the fact that his mother was taking the side of one of his teachers who had revealed that he was playful and needed to work harder.
A member of staff at the school said the boy took off his belt and lashed his mother in full view of his teachers and other visiting parents.
“A female teacher attempted to intervene but the boy, who seemed possessed, roughly pushed her away and she fell to the ground. There was no controlling him.
“He was like a raging bull that was prepared to destroy anyone and anything in his path,” said the member of staff who declined to be named.
“Even male parents seemed afraid of him. He really became wild. I suspect there is something we don’t know about this incident that triggered him off. The fact that the teacher said he was playful and his mother agreed, seems too trivial.”
Sources at the school said the pupil is a problem child and a bully.
“The boy is just a problem. He is a handful to deal with. He gives teachers, prefects and fellow students a problem. It is unfortunate that it seems like even his family cannot control him. It was a relief when the police finally arrived,” said a teacher at the school.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele said the school had decided to deal with the matter internally.
“The school is dealing with the issue as an internal matter. If there was police presence, the officers may have been there on other business”, he said.Renowned culturalist Reverend Paul Bayethe Damasane said it taboo for someone to raise a hand against a parent.
“Culturally, it is unheard of. It is a shame. Lihlazo lamahlazo. It is a disgrace, it just doesn’t happen in society. Insulting or assaulting a parent, particularly one’s mother whose parenthood is undisputed as one would have slept in her womb, is totally unacceptable. Nothing good can be salvaged from a person who does such a thing,” he said.
“Biblically, by insulting, disobeying or assaulting a parent, one would be inviting curses for himself and his offspring for generations to come. It is a degree of disrespect that one just cannot fathom.”
Rev Damasane said in as much as the pupil could be blamed, sometimes it would be a manifestation of socialisation that a child may have gone through.
“We could curse the child for those actions, however, those are learnt behaviours. A child may have grown up seeing an older father figure in the family assaulting a female member of the family, be it a mother, or an aunt.
“Perhaps it’s a single parent home where a father figure is absent. All those are possibilities to factor in. Children learn certain behaviours from society through the process of socialisation,” he said.
The Wanezi High School Headmistress, only identified as Mrs Khumalo, could not be reached for comment as the school’s phone rang unanswered.
Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director Ms Tumisang Thabela said she was away on leave and referred questions to the office. The Acting PED could not be reached for comment as he was said to be in a meeting. The Chronicle