18 April 2019

South Africa: Case Against Sans Souci Teacher Who Slapped Pupil Should Be Struck Off Court Roll - Lawyer

A criminal court is not the right forum to judge Sans Souci Girls' High School teacher Clarissa Venter for slapping a pupil, her defence attorney said outside the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Lawyer William Booth maintained that the common assault case should be struck off the court roll, which had "enough cases of a serious nature", after the State requested a postponement to complete its investigation.

The request for a final postponement was granted and Venter will be back in the dock on June 14.

Booth said after proceedings that he believed the case should be withdrawn, as the disciplinary hearing against his client had been dealt with and that the pupil had decided to leave Sans Souci.

Venter, who returned to the classroom at the start of the term, was being severely prejudiced by having to appear in a public court, and the pending matter was interrupting her life, Booth argued.

The teacher also faces an Equality Court matter for which Booth believed there were no grounds.

"The case has got nothing to do with race or discrimination. It's about a student that was not behaving herself; a student who initiated this whole matter. My client was entitled to defend herself against this unlawful verbal and physical assault on her."

The pupil's mother has lodged a claim for damages amounting to R150 000, News24 previously reported.

Venter, 33, laid counter assault charges after the incident in February in which the pupil shoved the teacher, who retaliated by striking the child across the face in an altercation about a book.

Venter, after her disciplinary hearing, returned to work, as the school governing body ratified its decision that she should receive a fine, final warning and anger management sessions.

The pupil's mother has removed her daughter from the school.

Source: News24

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