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GUNDVWINI – A family has been left distraught after a six-year-old was severely thrashed at school over a stolen cellphone.

An aunt to the minor, Sibongile Dlamini, (40) expressed anger and disappointment at the manner in which her nephew was allegedly punished at the school. Dlamini said her nephew *Simo (six), was accused of stealing a mobile phone belonging to a teacher at his school, Ethembeni Primary. The school is located in the dusty community of Gundvwini, which is a community in the south of the Manzini Region under Mtfongwaneni Constituency. The teacher is alleged to have lost the phone over a week ago, on a Thursday and the aunt relayed that she was informed about it the following day, which was a Friday (June 7, 2019).


Dlamini said she received a call from the school informing her that Simo had allegedly stolen a teacher’s phone from her handbag. Infuriated by this act of thievery reported about her nephew, Dlamini said she enquired from Simo upon his return from school on the allegations. “I asked him and he said he was given a phone by a fellow pupil to keep and he did that by stuffing it in his pocket,” Dlamini said. However, Dlamini said this response came after Simo had allegedly been thrashed by a community police member.  She said the pupil informed her that he had been taken to the mountains and had his private parts squeezed before being ordered to undress. After undressing, she said Simo was allegedly thrashed a number of times with a stick on his bare buttocks.

According to Dlamini, this is a narration she received from Simo, who was visibly in pain. To her, the pain was visible in the sense that when it was bedtime, Simo would complain that his siblings were hurting him as they shared a bed. Dlamini said following that she had been informed of the misdemeanour on a Friday, she went to the school last Monday to find out more on the accusation levelled against her nephew. Upon arrival at the school, Dlamini said she did not find the head teacher and had to return home with the hope that she would make another attempt the following day. The school is about 10 kilometres from her homestead.

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