The mother of a former Sans Souci High School pupil, who was seen being slapped by her teacher in a viral video, has lodged a R150 000 claim against the teacher in the Equality Court, citing racism.
This comes after a video surfaced in February in which Afrikaans teacher Clarisa Venter is seen slapping the Grade 9 pupil after the two argue over the pupil not having her school book and having her phone in her hand (“’Slap’ teacher faces discipline,” Tatler February 7).
Ms Venter’s attorney, William Booth, said his office had since filed opposing papers, objecting to the claim, saying the incident had nothing to do with race.
“We are waiting for the court to make a decision regarding this,” he said.
The teacher is set to return to her post when the school reopens for the new term on Tuesday April 2 after a disciplinary process was concluded by the school’s governing body.
In a statement, the governing body said Ms Venter had been given a final written warning. She will also have to attend counselling, pay a fine and issue a written apology.
“We strive to make Sans Souci a safe learning environment for all pupils and teachers. May this incident be a learning experience for all,” the statement read.
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson, Jessica Shelver, confirmed the teacher would be returning to the school but said the WCED would not issue a statement as Ms Venter was not a department employee.
Mr Booth said that while the disciplinary matter had been finalised, both parties would appear in court in April regarding the criminal charges they had each laid.
The teacher appeared in court last month, after she was charged with common assault and is due to make her second appearance on Thursday April 18. The pupil’s mother opened a case against her.
Ms Venter has also opened a common-assault case against the pupil, who is no longer at the school.
The Cape Times reported that the child’s lawyers had said before her hearing that the mother had no confidence it would be “fair or impartial”.
The Chamber of Legal Students said: “The decision to withdraw the learner from the school was prompted by concerns for her well-being, in the face of the unfair and unlawful treatment she has been subjected to and the extremely hostile environment the school has created for her.”