Corpun file 16789
Times of Swaziland, 11 October 2005
Mhlatane students made to dig trees
By Musa Nhleko
PIGG'S PEAK - Some of the six students of Mhlatane High School captured uprooting trees as punishment for their antics. (Pic : Albert Masango)
PIGGS PEAK – As if to directly challenge the recently
launched Save the Children Swaziland programme of ending corporal
punishment in the country six students are presently digging
trees at Mhlatane High School.
According to sources close to the matter two female students
and six boys doing Form IV and Form V respectively were punished
for being suspected of drinking alcohol after school on their way
to their respective homes two weeks ago.
This resulted in the school having them dig up tree stumps within
the school as punishment.
Two of the girls that formed part of the punished students
were released back to class last Wednesday and the ones presently
serving the punishment are the boys.
One other girl who is said to have misbehaved at the girls hostel
was found scrubbing a hard surface in the school, with her bare
knees on the concrete ground.
The source said the students were suspected to have gone drinking
by the boarding master after they had been instructed to take
invitation cards for the speech and prize-giving day to their
The students are said to have organised a kombi to ferry them to
their respective homes and it is said that after they had left,
the boarding master later asked other students if the students
that were in the kombi were drinking alcohol.
“The following Monday all the students who were in the kombi
were called and were punished by three teachers who are in the
“They were beaten on their hands and later sent out to dig a
number of trees that the head teacher had earlier on pointed out
that he wanted removed. He did not say how these trees should be
removed until the male students were punished to dig them
out,” said the source.
The six boys have been left to dig more than six trees in the
schoolyard and have been able to dig out three trees so far.
“They have been told that they should not return to until
they finish digging up the trees,” said the source.
The school Head Teacher, Simeon Makhubu, did not want to comment
on the issue and instead said, “You people from the Times do
not do not like to see me working in the best interest of the
Save the Children – Swaziland Information Officer
Elizabeth Kgololo said, “It is a pity that recently in this
country, we did a research on corporal punishment and after that
we trained teachers and career guidance teachers on issues
surrounding corporal punishment.
If what you have just told me is true this is totally not
“My plea would be for head teachers to follow the laid
down rules when applying corporal punishment to scholars.
“This is a challenge to us and I think we have to engage the
school you have mentioned to alternative ways of
discipline,” she said.