Sjambok KaBokweni principal dies

Authorities from the department of education sent condolences to the family this week.

A Mpumalanga principal notorious for sjamboking his pupils has reportedly died.

Simon Mkhatshwa reportedly died this week after a long illness.

Mkhatshwa was the owner of the Cefups Academy, a private school in the Mbombela area.

Education departmen spokesman Jasper Zwane said they heard the man has passed away.

“We heard the sad news and we have indeed lost a great soul. May his family find comfort through all this,” Zwane said.

Mkhatshwa began making news as a man who used a hard hand when punishing his school’s pupils.

His school has been described by ex-pupils in the past 16 years as a “correctional service”.

In 2001, scores of pupils from his school marched to the Mpumalanga legislature complex to protest against the use of sjamboks and corporal punishment at the school.

The kids showed authorities the welts and wounds from what they claimed were a result of beatings by Mkhatshwa.

The KaBokweni man was sentenced to three months in jail or a R1 000 fine by the Neslpruit Magistrates Court in 1999 after being convicted for publicly sjamboking an English teacher.

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Mkhatshwa had also appeared in court in 1997 after he squeezed and twisted a 19-year-old pupil’s testicles in front of the school assembly because the youth had been caught sleeping in class.

The assault charges were dismissed when witnesses refused to testify against Mkhatshwa.

In October 2007 a magistrate was surprised to hear that 15 witnesses would be called to

testify against Mkhatshwa, who was accused of whipping a taxi driver with a sjambok when he failed to ask permission to collect some girls from the school hostel.

In 2009, Sadtu in the province called for actions against Mkhatshwa after it emerged he had assaulted kids again.

In 2014, investigations were launched against Mkhatshwa after a pupil, Paballo Seanne (19), died after she was allegedly assaulted for failing a test.

(edited by MLM)

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