A female student was brutalized by a resident pastor and educator at St Peter’s Combined Christian School in Mohlaletsi village in Sekhukhune District, Limpopo, South Africa.
The resident pastor, identified as Diketso Matibidi, allegedly flogged the Grade 12 learner for being late to the Sunday church service on the 12th of November, 2023.
The pastor has now been suspended for the assault.
According to reports, Diketso called out the student in front of the entire congregation and then allegedly proceeded to beat her with a sjambok, a type of whip commonly used in South Africa.
The student’s parents have expressed outrage over the incident, stating that their child is now traumatized and unable to focus on her studies.
They have also criticized the school’s lack of response to the matter, saying that it has taken no disciplinary action against Diketso.
The school initially denied that the incident took place, stating that there was no evidence to support the student’s claims.
However, other students came forward to corroborate the student’s story, saying that they witnessed the beating.
The incident has sparked outrage among parents and community members, who called for Diketso to be removed from the school and for the school to take disciplinary action against him.
They also demanded that the school provide counselling and support to the victim of the beating.
In a statement released to the media on Tuesday, November 14, the school says it has instituted a disciplinary hearing against the educator.
“The parent of the student involved (in the assault) has been contacted and a disciplinary hearing against the pastor is currently underway,” the statement read.
“The student will also undergo a medical assessment and the incident has been reported to the Police,” the school continued.
“We want to express our strong disapproval of Mr Matibidi’s behaviour, and we will address it with the seriousness it deserves.”