Sans Souci teacher, slapped pupil make first appearances in court

The teacher charged with the assault of a Sans Souci Girls High School pupil, as well as the teenager she slapped, made their first appearances in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

The pupil’s matter, which was held in closed court as she is a minor, was heard at the same time that her complainant appeared, both on the same charge.

Dressed in a crisp white shirt covering her tattooed arms, Clarissa Venter, 34, stared down at the ground as her matter was heard.

She was represented by attorney William Booth, who requested a final postponement.

The case was postponed to April 18 for further investigation.

A clip of the altercation, which went viral on social media, shows the teacher asking the pupil where her book is, and the girl replying that she doesn’t have one.

The teacher has words with her about this and grabs her cellphone, which she has in her hand.

“You want to challenge me, my dear, you are going to get last [sic],” the teacher tells her, after putting the cellphone on her desk.

“I’ve been where you’ve been. Yes, I have three degrees – two, working on my third one. You don’t even have a book in Grade 9.”

The teacher refers to the school’s code of conduct, holds it up and tells the pupil she knows the rules about cellphone use.

The girl accuses the teacher of swearing at her, and the teacher asks her what she supposedly said. The pupil asks the teacher not to shout at her, and the teacher orders her to leave the classroom.

‘Throw it ma’am. Make me’

The girl says something inaudible, and the teacher asks if she is swearing at her. The pupil says she is.

The two have words, and the teacher returns the girl’s phone, before taking it back, threatening to throw it.

“Throw it ma’am. Make me,” the girl says, and the teacher pulls her table back, before pushing it back into place.

The teacher insists that the pupil leave the classroom, and the girl pushes her table into the teacher’s legs and gets up.

The girl then pushes the teacher with her shoulder, apparently reaching for her phone. The teacher slaps the pupil, before grabbing her by the front of her shirt.

The girl holds on to the teacher’s arm and tells her, “You hit me!”, and the teacher replies that the girl pushed and swore at her.

Venter still faces a disciplinary hearing, where Booth will also be representing her.

Both she and the pupil have been suspended.

Supporters greeted Venter and Booth outside the court on Wednesday. One woman from Lotus River, Yvonne Williams, embraced Venter as she was leaving. DM


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