South Africa: Police Probe Assault Charges As Grey High Hostel 'Whacking' Practices Unravel

Prominent all boys school Grey High in Port Elizabeth may have wrapped up its internal investigation into allegations of assault, but the police say they are still probing a case of common assault.

Seven Grade 12 pupils were hauled before a disciplinary hearing at the beginning of the month for meting out "whacks" to Grade 8 pupils at one of the school's boarding houses.

The practice of whacking is punishment meted out to junior boys for various misdemeanors in the hostel and it involves being hit by either a cricket bat, hockey stick or PVC pipes.

News24 understands that the pupils pleaded guilty and their "guilty plea" was accepted by members who were present at the disciplinary hearing, including the headmaster.

As part of their sanctions, they were given a final written warning.

However, the police confirmed they were "busy with an investigation of a common assault case", said spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg.

She added the investigation was ongoing "and once finalised, the docket will be sent to the senior public prosecutor for a further decision".

Eastern Cape education department spokesperson Mali Mtima condemned the actions of the Grade 12 pupils.

"As far as legislation goes, initiation practices are not allowed at schools," said Mtima.

He added the department was in possession of the reports from the disciplinary hearings, which the school undertook, and that it had been kept abreast of all developments.

Attempts to get comment from Grey High were unsuccessful at the time of publication.

Source: News24

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