“Despite it being banned since 1997‚ some teachers in South African schools continue to dish out corporal punishment‚ often for everyday offences‚” it said in a statement on Friday. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has condemned the use of corporal punishment by some teachers.

The department issued the statement in response to a 17-second video showing a pupil being hit on his hand by “what looks like a teacher in a classroom”.

It appears the video was on the department’s Whatsapp and it has since gone viral.

The department said unconfirmed reports suggests the video clip was filmed in a KwaZulu-Natal school.

“We expect the affected learners to report such incidents to a parent‚ guardian‚ teacher or to any person they may trust‚” the statement read.

“Victims of corporal punishment can also report incidents to the school principal so that the principal can investigate. The principal should report such incidents to the department of education‚ so that the department can institute disciplinary proceedings against the perpetrator.”

If this is ignored‚ contact the Department of Education’s District Office. Alternatively‚ report such behaviour to the Child Protection Unit of the South African Police Services and lay criminal charges.

“There’s a difference between disciplining and punishing‚” the department said.