The mother of a former Sans Souci Girls' High School pupil slapped by her Afrikaans teacher during a physical altercation has lodged a claim in the Equality Court for damages amounting to R150 000.
In a statement issued by William Booth of William Booth Attorneys on behalf of teacher Clarissa Venter, Booth confirmed that his office filed opposing papers objecting to the claim.
"[The mother of the pupil] has also claimed that our client allegedly assaulted [the pupil] due to her daughter being of a different race and cultural background," he said.
According to the Chamber of Legal Students, which has been representing the Grade 9 pupil, the decision was prompted by concerns for her well-being, "in the face of the unfair and unlawful treatment she has been subjected to and the extremely hostile environment the school has created for her".
Both had laid assault charges against each other. The pupil's matter is being held in camera as she is a minor. Venter will return to the dock at the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on April 18.
Pupils and members of the public have expressed overwhelming support for the 34-year-old teacher, who was captured on video when she slapped the Grade 9 pupil after the child shoved her during an altercation over a book.
Booth, who acts on behalf of Venter in defending all litigation arising from the incident on February 5, said his client has expressed her thanks for "all the support, encouragement and understanding" she has received.
"She has been completely overwhelmed by the kindness and sympathy received from acquaintances and strangers alike. In addition, she has received tremendous support from her students and colleagues."
His office has also received numerous requests from people wanting to make monetary donations to assist Venter, he said.
The pupil's lawyers declined to comment.