Sphamandla Choma, a 14-year-old boy from Mhluzi township who was left paralyzed after being assaulted by his school principal has died.
The pupil, who died at a Middleburg hospital on Sunday morning was allegedly assaulted by his school principal for stealing R150.
Prior to his death, MEC for education, Ms. Reginah Mhaule had paid a courtesy visit to the family of a 14-year-old learner, where he assured the family that the department has launched an investigation into the matter.
“I have received a preliminary report from the school, but there is a need to strengthen the report so that there are no loopholes in it. We have instituted an independent body from other districts to investigate the matter further,” said Mhaule.
Last week Choma’s family through their lawyer, lodged an R25 million lawsuit against the department of education, in Mpumalanga.
The family stated that since after the incidence, Sphamandla’s life changed completely and that his condition affected his education – as he never returned to the classroom.
Meanwhile, South Africans have continued to express their condolences on the death of the young learner. Social media users were not left out as the streets of Twitter have been littered with Sphamandla’s name since Sunday when the news broke out.
Rest in peace #SphamandlaChoma your ideas and your legacy shall live. let there be justice for all in South Africa
— Thokozani Nicholas (@ThokozaniNicho2) March 21, 2017
"Sphamandla Choma" how does one react and comment in such a scenario.May his soul find rest and peace. L
— Ells (@God_Gau) March 21, 2017
Sphamandla Choma's human rights were violated in life and in death in the existence of useless @SAHRCommission .
— sbuda1noks (@sbuda1noks) March 21, 2017
The Sphamandla Choma story is so sad, very sad.! u Principal wonke kills for a mare R150!!
— ThobileMthethwa (@ThobileMthe10) March 20, 2017
Others called for the principal to be charged with murder.
— UNATHI GROOTBOOM (@Unathi_007) March 20, 2017
@SABCNewsroom let the school principal charged with murder and be sentenced life because corporal punishment has been abolished long time
— Legasa Butler Mollo (@legasamollo71) March 21, 2017
— My Chief (@SthembisoMkhize) March 20, 2017
Multiple sources confirmed that Mpumalanga Education MEC Reginah Mhaule will on Tuesday visit the family of the Sphamandla Choma.
The Progressive Students Movement (PMS)has vowed to avenge the 14-year-old boy’s death. PSM’s national spokesperson Sfaniso Sithole, in a statement, called for the principal to be jailed, stating that the boy’s passing left everyone devastated.
The movement also described his death as “senseless” and vowed to physically retaliate and deal with the principal, if justice fails Sphamandla.
BuzzSouthAfrica understands that the principal has since been charged with misconduct and suspended by the department after it received a preliminary report on the matter. Disciplinary hearings also said to be underway against the headmaster.
The Mpumalanga education department is reportedly making plans to conduct a post-mortem to determine the real cause of his death.
Truly, Choma’s death is a painful one. The government should work hard towards protecting learners from abusive teachers. They must also ensure that teachers who are found guilty are severely dealt with.