The SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) has questioned why a 24-year-old pupil was not enrolled at an institution "suitable for his age" after the pupil assaulted a female teacher and used her car to try to run her over.
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, provincial secretary Nomarashiya Caluza welcomed the 17-year sentence handed to the pupil in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court.
"The 24-year-old learner, allegedly a repeat offender, will remain behind bars for 17 years. He is indeed unfit to be in the same environment with law-abiding citizens."
Caluza added: "Sadtu equally noted with justifiable anger that the learner was supposed to have been enrolled in institutions of learning suitable for his age if the recorded age of 24 years is correct."
The former pupil assaulted his unsuspecting female teacher by dragging her out of her car and attempting to drive the car over her body in August, in full view of other pupils, at Chibelihle Combined School in the village of iMpendle.
Caluza said the union denounced violence against women and children, particularly in schools.
"The magistrate has sent a strong and unambiguous message that violence in schools, particularly against the most vulnerable and defenceless sections of our society, should not be tolerated."
She said Sadtu would strive to encourage the Department of Education to invest more resources in safety and security in schools.
Caluza also commended the National Prosecuting Authority.
"This is one case which was neither protracted, nor consumed exorbitant State resources to finalise. The criminal justice system exceptionally demonstrated efficiency in dispensing justice without undue delay and Sadtu commends all who carried this task with remarkable precision."