Cape Town 'slap video' teacher in court for common assault

27 February 2019 - 12:21 By Sipokazi Fokazi
Sans Souci Girls' High School teacher Clarissa Venter and her legal representative William Booth outside the Wynberg magistrate's court on Wednesday, February 27 2019.
Sans Souci Girls' High School teacher Clarissa Venter and her legal representative William Booth outside the Wynberg magistrate's court on Wednesday, February 27 2019.
Image: Sipokazi Fokazi

The teacher who allegedly slapped a Grade 9 pupil at Sans Souci Girls' High appeared in the Wynberg magistrate's court on Wednesday on a charge of common assault. 

Clarissa Venter, 34, was recorded on video having a verbal altercation with the pupil on February 5.

Venter was not asked to plead and the case was postponed until April 18 for further investigation. 

Wearing navy pants, a white shirt and brown shoes, the Afrikaans teacher and former journalist appeared nervous in the dock. She was sighing and kept pulling her shirt and putting her hands behind her back.

The pupil who was allegedly assaulted by Venter was set to appear in a separate court in-camera. Venter opened a case of assault against the pupil.

In the video, the teacher can be seen and heard embroiled in an argument with the Grade 9 girl over a book. The teacher grabs the pupil's cellphone from her hands, telling her it was against the school's conduct to have it during class. 

Matters quickly escalate as both the teacher and the child accuse each other of swearing. The teacher tells the pupil to leave the class, but she refuses.

The pupil says something inaudible and the teacher replies, "Are you swearing at me? You are speaking a different language in my class!"

The teacher then switches to Afrikaans, pushes the desk towards the pupil and gets close to her face. The pupil pushes the desk back towards the teacher and gets up.

The teacher shouts, "Are you hitting me?" She then slaps the pupil and continues, "You push me! You swear at me!"

The video showing a teacher slapping a pupil in a classroom at one of Cape Town’s leading schools.

Venter's lawyer William Booth requested that April 18 be the last postponement for the case as the state had had enough time to investigate.

Booth also said he would appear at Venter's disciplinary hearing, which is set for Thursday.

The pupil is scheduled to appear before a school disciplinary hearing on Friday.


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