Female student brutally flogged by school resident pastor for being late to Sunday church service

A pastor and teacher residing at St Peter’s Combined Christian School in Mohlaletsi village, Sekhukhune District, Limpopo, South Africa, has been suspended after being accused of assaulting a female student.

Diketso Matibidi, the resident pastor at St Peter’s Combined Christian School in Mohlaletsi village, is accused of corporal punishment against a Grade 12 student on November 12, 2023. Allegedly, Matibidi publicly chastised the student during Sunday church service and proceeded to use a sjambok, a traditional South African whip, for being late.

The student’s parents are deeply upset, asserting that their child is now traumatized and struggling to concentrate 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. 

Additional students have stepped forward to support the student’s account, confirming that they witnessed the beating. The incident has triggered anger among parents and community members, leading to calls for the removal of Diketso from the school and urging the school to take disciplinary measures against him.

Furthermore, they are demanding that the school offer counseling and support to the victim of the assault.

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.”

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