Pretoria News

Devastated family of bullied teen await justice on matter

- CHULUMANCO MAHAMBA

THE DEVASTATED family of Lufuno Mavhunga, the Limpopo learner who allegedly committed suicide following an assault at school, says they are ready for the law to run its course and for justice to be served.

A video of the 15-year-old being assaulted by a fellow learner while others laughed in the background went viral on Monday and sparked outrage about bullying in schools.

Lufuno’s brother and family spokespers­on, Kenneth Mavhunga, speaking yesterday before Limpopo Education MEC Polly Boshielo visited the family, said they were devastated and emotional about the girl’s death, especially because of how she died.

Mavhunga said when his sister returned from school on Monday she told her parents she had been assaulted at school and also sent the video of the assault to her other brother in Pretoria.

“The brother tried to reach out to the principal, and the principal of the school said he was happy that he brought the matter to his attention,” he said.

Mavhunga said later that evening when the family went to check on the 15-year-old, they found her unconsciou­s.

“The ambulance came and when they were taking her to the hospital that is when she took her last breath,” the brother said.

Limpopo police spokespers­on Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the learner allegedly overdosed on pills.

A preliminar­y report on the incident by the SA Human Rights Commission revealed that on the day of the incident, Lufuno and the school’s security guard reported the case of bullying to the school principal’s office but he failed to attend to it.

Commission’s spokespers­on Victor Mavhidula said the principal of Mbilwi Secondary School told the security guard to return to his post and for Lufuno to return to class, even after she had told him about the threats made by the perpetrato­r.

Lufuno’s brother said that as much as the family were angry and sad about what happened to Lufuno, they were ready for the law to run its course and for justice to be served.

Mavhunga added that the family were not happy with the school’s preliminar­y report of the incident as the school said the two learners were fighting, however, the video showed an assault, not a fight.

Limpopo Education spokespers­on Tidimalo Chuene said during the MEC’s visit to the school yesterday with Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba, that eight psychologi­sts were deployed before there was a meeting with the schools’ stakeholde­rs including the school governing body.

“The report we received is that by morning, they had issued two suspension letters, one the police arrested and another learner. The learners should appear for disciplina­ry hearing next week on April 22,” she said.

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