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Another school violence video is tonight trending across South Africa’s social media timelines, but this time its origin isn’t Gauteng.
Instead a KwaZulu-Natal school — believed to be Mdlamfe High in Richards Bay — is in hot water after a video of an educator violently beating two girls went viral on Twitter.
In the video, the educator is seen repetitively lashing the girls with what appears to be a cane, as other students laugh in the background. The second student, who receives markedly more lashings, can also be heard crying in the 88 second long clip.
It’s unclear what prompted the educator to strike the students.
The initial tweet containing the video — published around 5pm Monday by Umhlobo Wenene radio host Siphiwo Nzawumbi — garnered over 1500 retweets and 500 likes.
“Somebody please help us track down this teacher. He can’t get away with assaulting a young girl like this,” he tweets.
Somebody please help us track down this teacher. He can’t get away with assaulting a young girl like this.
My blood is boiling. 😡😡😡 pic.twitter.com/lHiMWIQpkf
— Siphiwo Nzawumbi (@SiphiwoNzawumbi) September 11, 2017
This isn’t on.
— Tumi Sole (@tumisole) September 11, 2017
While the above post garnered only 1100 retweets, it did prompt the hashtag’s arrival as a trending term late Monday evening.
South Africa’s Twitter users demanded an explanation, and for the KZN Education Department to intervene.
This neverending nightmare leaves one heartbroken and sick to the stomach.
— BrownSugar (@UrsulaChikane) September 11, 2017
It is wrong to apply physical punishment to children especially girl. Necessary steps should be taken against the Teacher.
— Molantoa (@Molantoa13) September 11, 2017
I’m very angry. Yes, learners need to be disciplined but NOT like this! He could have handled it differently.
— Anele Skhosana (@Chantana_lola) September 11, 2017
— Ketshepile Manchwe (@DaRealTshepiegh) September 11, 2017
The KZN Education Department has since issued a statement on Twitter, confirming that the “educator from Mdlamfe High School that is seen in a video brutally beating a learner will also receive a suspension letter tomorrow”.
The educator from Mdlamfe High School that is seen in a video brutally beating a learner will also receive a suspension letter tomorrow.
— KZN Education (@DBE_KZN) September 11, 2017
Conduct of both pupils and educators have come under the spotlight at schools across South Africa this year, especially on social media. Most recently, two Kempton Park schools were the focus of attention in July and August respectively.
A string of Facebook videos depicting student-on-student violence surfaced from one, prompting the expulsion of two students. While at the other was flamed by the internet for what it believed was a breach of its code of conduct.