A newly employed teacher from the Robertson community alleges that he was beaten up by a former student governing body (SGB) member for being gay. The incident is reported to have taken place over the weekend.
According to the teacher, a child called him a “moffie”.
“I later went to report the incident to his parents, and was met by his mother who was rude and shouted at me,” the educator said, as reported by IOL. “She said her husband would deal with me.”
The teacher reported a case of discrimination to the local police office, and the child’s father appeared out of nowhere and hit him in the face with his open palm. “He repeatedly attacked me with a fist, and at that time, I was defenceless,” he said. “The husband took out a knife and wanted to stab me. If my friend was not there it would have been a different story.”
The teacher says the incident has left him feeling distraught, and is upset that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are not treated with respect. “The community, especially in Nqubela, even though it is diverse, needs to respect gay people.”
According to the school’s student governing body, the incident has nothing to do with the school as the incident did not take place on its premises. “The teacher has opened a case against the man. For emphasis, the man is no longer a member of the SGB, as he resigned. We, as Masakheke SGB, condemn the alleged incident,” it said. “We can offer emotional support to the teacher, because although it happened outside the school premises, it affects the school. Once a teacher is emotionally broken, he can be a danger to himself and to the learners.”
Bronagh Hammond, Western Cape Department of Education spokesperson, said they have been informed of the incident. “The department cannot confirm what was said between the children, parents and the educator, as it was outside of the school. The parent involved is an ex-SGB member apparently.”
A case of common assault is currently being investigated by police, but no arrests have been made thus far.