A grade 10 pupil has allegedly committed suicide after she was assaulted by another pupil at the school on Monday.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, the pupil from Mbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo is seen being confronted by a fellow pupil before the confrontation is interrupted by another pupil who unexpectedly slaps her numerous times.
The victim is seen holding on to her attacker while being slapped at the school in Sibasa, North of Thohoyandou.
Another pupil tries to restrain the attacker, who is also a grade 10 girl at the school. Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed that police were investigating an inquest after the pupil’s death.
Education MEC Polly Boshielo said she was deeply concerned by the increasing number of bullying incidents.
“The department was this morning alerted to a shocking video recording of a female grade 10 pupil being slapped around at Mbilwi Secondary School, in the Vhembe east education district.”
The incident took place yesterday, 12 April 2021.
“In the video other learners can be heard in the background cheering the perpetrator, who is also a grade 10 female pupil. The victimised learner is reported to have since passed away; however the cause of death is unknown,” said Boshielo.
She said the department is waiting for a formal report on the cause of death from the relevant authorities.
“The department has appointed learner support agents who are based in the 10 education districts across the province to offer emotional support to vulnerable learners,” Boshielo said.
In a separate incident, Boshielo said the department was aware of another recording making the rounds on social media of a physical altercation involving grade 12 pupils from Nthuba High School at Bavaria village in Ga-Mothapo.
Boshielo said details of this incident have been requested from the school principal and that disciplinary processes will be undertaken.
“We send our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased learner and pledge our commitment towards ensuring that all those involved in bullying incidents are made to face the consequences of their actions,” Boshielo said.