The Mercury

Durban schoolboys ‘beat man’

- Bernadette Wolhuter

POLICE are investigat­ing criminal charges after a mob of boys at a Durban high school allegedly beat up a 40-year-old man last week.

A source close to the investigat­ion said the man – who The Mercury understand­s works at the school – was going to the tuck shop when the incident took place on Tuesday.

He said a boy had walked past the man and the two had exchanged words before the alleged assault.

Apparently, it involved a group of about 20 boys jumping on the man’s back, punching him in the face and kicking him for between 10 and 15 minutes before two teachers eventually managed to pull them off.

The Mercury has seen a short video clip, believed to be of the assault in question, which shows a large crowd of schoolchil­dren brawling.

The man sustained a fractured nose and bruising to his upper body and was booked off work for a week.

Police spokespers­on Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm was opened at Durban Central police station.

“No arrest has been made at this stage and the matter is still under investigat­ion,” he said yesterday.

The MEC for Education in KwaZulu-Natal said yesterday that because of the size of the department in the province, it was not possible for him to handle all issues himself.

“But I have appointed a team to deal with these kinds of matters,” he said.

He said now that it had been brought to his attention, he would investigat­e this incident.

“We’ve got a responsibi­lity to protect other learners as well as our teachers,” he said.

The Mercury tried to contact the school principal yesterday but to no avail.

Late last year, a disturbing video of schoolboys engaged in an altercatio­n with an older man, who appeared to be a teacher, surfaced on social media.

And in 2015, two brothers were suspended from a Western Cape high school after they had allegedly tried to strangle their principal.

The year before that, a 13-year-old schoolboy was expelled from a Joburg high school after he was caught on camera hitting a teacher with a chair and a broom.

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