Three pupils who allegedly took part in the bullying and assault of Lufuno Mavhungu have been suspended at the Mbilwi Secondary School.
The 15-year-old Lufuno, who died by suicide after overdosing on prescription pills on Monday – the day of the incident – had been captured on video being assaulted by a fellow pupil.
One pupil, also 15, has been arrested and faces assault charges.
Limpopo police have also opened an inquest docket regarding Lufuno’s death.
Limpopo Education spokesperson Tidi Chuene, confirmed three pupils, including the arrested pupil, had been suspended and were expected to appear before a disciplinary tribunal on Thursday, April 22.
She said education, health and social development stakeholders – including the various MECs – had visited the Mavhungu family and the Mbilwi Secondary School this week.
Stakeholders included a team of psychologists who were dispatched to the school to have sessions with affected pupils, and a psychosocial team was dispatched to assist the family.
Limpopo Education MEC Polly Boshielo told eNCA on Thursday that an argument among the pupils had started on social media before it descended to the brutal video which has gone viral of Lufuno being assaulted.
She said before the assault, two teachers and the president of the RCL (the Representative Council for Learners), had spoken to the pupils encouraging them to bury the hatchet.
She said “When they left the school they thought everything was fine”.
“The assault happened outside the school and a security guard was called to intervene”.
She also said the bullying and assault problem started at home, where pupils saw their parents fight physically. She said parents had to resolve problems amicably, and not with violence.
“We are saying to parents at home, do not fight in front of children, because this teaches them that this is how you solve problems. We are saying show them that problems can be resolved by talking”.
Boshielo also said that the pupils who were cheering and taking videos of Lufuno’s assault would be dealt with.
“The ones who were cheering and taking the videos, we are going to suspend them and then they must come with their parents and disciplinary measures must be taken.
“When people fight we should not cheer them, we must bring peace. If you can’t you must run to an older person to alert them,” she said.
On Tuesday, community members and pupils at the school staged a protest calling for “Justice for Lufuno”.
Lufuno was seen being beaten by another Grade 10 pupil, who repeatedly slapped her while other schoolgirls cheered on taking a video of the incident.
Meanwhile, on social media, calls for “#JusticeForLufuno” continued to reverberate on Wednesday.