The Free State Department of Education has demanded that a bus driver who was caught on camera punching and kicking a Grade 12 learner from Hanover Farm School be permanently barred from working with children.
The exact location of the incident is unclear at this, but it occurred on Monday, 30 January, and the school is located near Bultfontein in the Lejweleputswa District.
Dr Tate Makgoe, the MEC for the Department of Education in the Free State, has since condemned the incident.
The 56-year-old scholar transport bus driver can be seen in video clips widely circulated on various social media platforms physically abusing the 17-year-old learner in a bus by kicking him on his stomach and hitting and punching him.
Makgoe expressed his disgust at the physical and emotional abuse of this learner and others who witnessed the abuse.
“This man must be permanently barred from working with our children….we have instructed the transport owner to suspend the driver immediately,” Makgoe added.
The matter has been reported to the Department of Social Development, which is the custodian of the Children’s Act, according to the Free State Department of Education.
“The Department of Social Department will take further steps to ensure that children are protected from further abuse by this perpetrator as prescribed in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. Police are also investigating the matter,” spokesperson Howard Ndaba said.
In 2022, a teacher at Wessel Maree Secondary School in Odendaalsrus, the same province, was immediately suspended after a video circulated on social media showing him violently pushing a learner.
“We have launched an investigation to look into this unfortunate incident. At this stage, we do not know all the details pertaining to the incident. The investigation, once complete, will shed more light into what transpired. The department will, on the strength of the evidence at our disposal, then be able to make an informed decision on what action to take,” MEC Makgoe said at the time.