School Principal Axed After Forcing Learner Into Pit Toilet To Retrieve Phone

School Principal Axed After Forcing Learner Into Pit Toilet To Retrieve Phone

  • A principal at an Eastern Cape school has been dismissed over an alleged incident in which he forced a learner into a toilet pit to retrieve his phone
  • The incident occurred in March when Lubeko Mgandela accidentally dropped his phone into the pit toilet while making use of it
  • Mgandela is expected to appear in court in July on a child abuse charge after this was changed from attempted murder

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An Eastern Cape school principal has been dismissed, three months after he was arrested after allegedly forcing a learner to retrieve his cellphone from a pit toilet.

Mgandela is said to have accidentally dropped his cellphone into a pit latrine used by the school's staff while using the facility. Afterwards, the former principal allegedly instructed pupils to lower an 11-year-old learner into the pit toilet, using a rope, to recover the device.

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School Principal, Learner, Pit Toilet, Phone, Eastern Cape, Arrested, Court
A junior secondary school principal has been fired after he forced a learner into a pit toilet to retrieve his phone. Image: Ziyanda Zweni.
Source: UGC

The Luthuthu Junior Secondary School principal, Lubeko Mgandela was sacked following a disciplinary hearing, according to a News24 report. Eastern Cape Education Department spokesperson Vuyiseka Mboxela confirmed this to the publication.

Police arrested Mgandela for attempted murder in March but the charge was later changed to child abuse.

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"We can confirm that he was found guilty and was then dismissed."

Child advocacy group lashes out at accused

Mgandela was placed on precautionary suspension while the department undertook an investigation into the incident. Children's rights group, Khula Community Development Project, whose mission is to reintegrate primary school children from disadvantaged communities, has welcomed the judgement

The organisation's director Petros Majola said he could not celebrate a job loss, but said that Mgandela's actions meant he should not be working with children.

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"The principal violated the child's human rights, so we welcome the fact that he has been dismissed, with open arms," said Majola.
"This will serve as a reminder to other teachers that they are parents of these children while at school and should always uphold values and display professional conduct and protect our children."

Mgandela is expected to appear in the Tsolo Magistrate's Court on 21 July for the start of his child abuse trial.

Parent to appear in court after assaulting teacher at North West school

A parent from the North West will appear in court this week for allegedly assaulting a teacher at the school her children attend.

Reports say that the mother believed her kids had been turned away from the school due to arriving late. The mother confronted the teacher and allegedly assaulted her.

Briefly News previously reported that Colonel Adele Myburgh, police spokesperson, confirmed that the incident had been reported to the SAPS after the alleged violent physical altercation. A case of assault case was opened on Monday, 14 June, with the mother expected to appear in court on 24 June.

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