Child ‘beaten’ by Principal for ‘stealing R150’ dies

Siphamandla Choma from Middelburg was paralysed after allegedly being assaulted by his principal at school. PICTURE: SABCNEWS

Fourteen-year-old Siphomandla Choma, who was allegedly assaulted by his principal and paralysed has died, the Mpumalanga department of education has confirmed.

Choma, was allegedly beaten up by his principal at Manyano Primary School in Middelburg, Mpumalanga late last year after he was accused of stealing R150 at the school.

“The Department takes this time to convey its sincere condolences to the family, the school and to all everyone who is affected by this sad development,” said Mpumalanga education spokesperson Jasper Zwane.

The Department did not comment on whether Choma’s death is a result of the injuries he sustained during his assault.

Earlier in the year the department came under attack for the delay in suspending the principal, however according to Zwane the department is currently taking action.

“The principal has been charged with misconduct, the first session of the disciplinary hearing sat on Friday 17 March 2017,” said Zwane.

Mpumalanga MEC for Education Reginah Mhaule is scheduled to visit the Choma family to pay her respects on Tuesday.

Early in the year Siphomandla’s story sent shock waves highlighting the call against corporal punishment at schools.

Speaking to The New Age retelling the account of his assault, by the principal, he said: “He tripped me and I fell then he put his knee on my chest and asked me where the money is. I told him I didn’t know.”

Choma said his spinal cord was twisted during the fall which left him unable to walk.

-Siphiwe Mchunu