Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Sadistic school teachers lined up to whip 20 children at a Swaziland primary school.

Each Swazi child received 27 lashes from nine teachers who took it in turns to give each child three cuts.

The children’s crime? They had been watching two boys fighting.

The Times of Swaziland reported on Monday (10 November 2008) that pupils at a Phonjwane school were forced to undergo the beatings from the nine teachers who stood in a row to assault each child.

The newspaper reported, ‘When this newspaper visited the school, most pupils were heard screaming murder. They were talking about the matter in hushed tones.’

It added, ‘Some pupils were still bearing scars from the beating, even though they were fading.’

Quite rightly the newspaper points out that the teachers acted illegally. The law states that corporal punishment should be meted out by the Principal, or in his or her presence in the staff-room. It also states that a pupil should not be given more than three strokes.

I have written before about how the human rights of children are abused in Swaziland. Even the Swazi Constitution allows children to be beaten and sentences of lashings have been dished out by magistrates to juveniles.

Excessive whippings at Swazi schools happen all the time. In October, the Times reported that 35 pupils of Oslo High School were whipped after a cell phone rang during a lesson. On this occasion a group of teachers illegally beat each member of the class.

The Times reported in both cases parents that demanded answers from the school authorities. I am pleased that the parents were not prepared to put up with it. But they should know that the teachers have acted illegally and instead of going to school principals to complain they should head off to the nearest police station and have each and every one of those teachers charged with assault.

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