Lesufi’s comments come as the education fraternity comes to terms with the suicide of Lufuno Mavhungu, a 15-year-old Limpopo student who was seen being assaulted by a fellow learner in a video which went viral on social media. She later took her own life by swallowing pills.
The incident has placed sharp focus on bullying in schools and prompted calls for tougher punishments for the perpetrators.
Well, Gauteng has also had its fair share of alleged bullying and Lesufi has called for swift investigations into several incidents.
“First of all, I need to make it abundantly clear that our schools can never be sites of violent conduct, assaults or bullying. Violence has no place at our schools and we call on school management to work with parents and the Department to ensure we bring these acts of ill-discipline and misconduct to a swift end”
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi
Does SA have a bullying problem in schools?
In the latest alleged bullying incident, which took place on Thursday, 15 April 2021, a Grade 11 boy learner from Anchor Comprehensive allegedly stabbed a Grade 12 boy learner from Emadwaleni Secondary School in Orlando West. Panyaza Lesufi said details are still sketchy at this stage, but added that a case has been opened with the South African Police Service (SAPS)
The alleged perpetrator has been suspended with immediate effect and will be subjected to a disciplinary process.
Just days prior, in a separate incident, two grade 10 girl learners were reported to have gotten involved in a physical altercation outside the toilets of Dinwiddie High School in Germiston.
“Information at our disposal indicates that this incident took place on Monday 12 April 2021 and the school intervened immediately. Following preliminary investigations on 14 April 2021, one learner was placed on precautionary suspension as per the school’s Code of Conduct and the parents of both learners were duly appraised,” Lesufi’s office said.
While in Meadowlands, Soweto, a group of learners at Letsibogo Secondary School were captured in yet another video fighting another pupil.
“The incident is alleged to have taken place on Monday 12 April 2021 where two Grade 12 learners fought each other after school outside the school premises. Educators intervened and parents were called to the school on Tuesday 13 April 2021. After deliberations, one learner was suspended and while the other is currently receiving counselling from our psycho-social support unit,” the department further said.