In the tranquil village of Mohlaletsi, nestled within the Sekhukhune District of Limpopo, South Africa, an unsettling incident has disrupted the serene atmosphere at St. Peter’s Combined Christian School.
The esteemed resident pastor and educator, Diketso Matibidi, finds himself at the centre of controversy, facing suspension for an alleged assault on a female Grade 12 student.
The unfortunate episode unfolded on the 12th of November, 2023, during the sacred Sunday church service.
Pastor Diketso, perturbed by the student’s tardiness, reportedly singled her out before the entire congregation and, shockingly, resorted to administering corporal punishment with a sjambok—a traditional South African whip.
Outraged and deeply concerned, the parents of the traumatized Grade 12 learner have decried the incident, asserting that their child’s emotional well-being and academic focus have been grievously affected.
Their dismay extends to the school’s perceived inaction, criticizing the institution for failing to take immediate disciplinary measures against Diketso.
Initially met with denial from the school, asserting a lack of evidence to substantiate the student’s claims, the narrative shifted as fellow students bravely stepped forward to corroborate the victim’s harrowing experience.
This revelation, in turn, sparked widespread indignation among parents and community members, who vociferously called for Diketso’s removal from the school and demanded robust disciplinary action.
In response to the escalating outcry, the school, in a statement released to the media on Tuesday, November 14, conveyed a shift in its stance.
Acknowledging the severity of the situation, the school disclosed the initiation of a disciplinary hearing against Pastor Diketso Matibidi. Furthermore, the statement outlined that the concerned student would undergo a comprehensive medical assessment, and the incident had been reported to the police.
Expressing unequivocal disapproval of Mr. Matibidi’s behavior, the school affirmed its commitment to addressing the matter with the gravity it warrants. T
he community’s collective plea for the provision of counselling and support for the victim was also recognized, underscoring the school’s dedication to restoring a sense of security and well-being for all stakeholders involved.