A school principal in Swaziland has been accused of demanding money from pupils to stop him expelling them for theft.
He said he did this because schools were no longer allowed to ‘lash’ misbehaving pupils.
Three boys were accused of stealing two maize cobs at Nkiliji High School, which they then shared among themselves.
The principal was reported to the Regional Education Office for allegedly demanding E1,000 from each of them, before they would be allowed back in class. The boys’ parents were unable to pay. In Swaziland, seven in ten of the 1.3 million population have incomes less than E26 a day. US$2 a day.
The Swazi Observer newspaper reported on Monday (5 March 2017) that the principal was infuriated with the parents for reporting him. He reportedly ‘asked that he be allowed to give the learners lashes as [a] form of punishment’.