The 14-year-old pupil who was caught on video, allegedly assaulting Lufuno Mavhunga who later suicide by suicide, will remain in custody at a state youth centre after her bail application was postponed.
The Mbilwa Secondary High School pupil made her second appearance at the Thohoyandou Children’s Court on Tuesday where an application to return to her parent’s care was denied. This is after the State asked for a postponement to Thursday.
According to the teen’s defence lawyer, the postponement was due to a shortage of magistrates.
The lawyer said the magistrate who dealt with the preliminary hearing last week said she could not proceed with the bail application and required another magistrate to take over the matter.
The teen’s defence lawyer said the teen was not doing “particularly well”.
The lawyer told television news channel Newzroom Afrika that “She is not coping at all while in custody. We are talking about a 14-year-old child who has been removed from her family setting with her mom and siblings. She is not doing particularly well”.
The teen, who is accused of allegedly assaulting Mavhunga, was arrested on Thursday and made her first appearance on Friday.
Prior to the court appearance, the National Prosecuting Authority’s Limpopo spokesperson Mahudu Malabi-Dzhangi said “The child in conflict with the law assaulted another learner who later committed suicide. This matter will be dealt with according to the Child Justice Act prescripts.”
She later confirmed the matter had been postponed and the suspect, a minor, was to remain in custody.
A video of the 15-year-old pupil being attacked by a fellow learner while others watched on went viral and sparked fury.
The video shows Lufuno being confronted by another pupil before they are interrupted by the suspect who slaps across the face several times.
A second video of the same incident shows the two learners being separated by a male pupil. Lufuno’s attacker lands some more slaps and pulls her hair before they are separated.
Lufuno was buried on Saturday in her hometown.