Johannesburg – A Grade 10 Limpopo schoolgirl who overdosed on prescription pills died by suicide on Monday after she was violently beaten by a fellow pupil at her Mbilwi Secondary School.
In the video of the incident, which has since gone viral on social media, Lufuno Mavhungu, 15, was seen beaten by another Grade 10 pupil who repeatedly slapped her while other schoolgirls cheered on taking a video of the incident.
Despite a video purportedly showing what look likes the aggressor being arrested by police on Tuesday, Limpopo police said no assault case had been opened against her and the Limpopo Department of Education was dealing with the incident at that level.
Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, said police had opened an inquest docket after Mavhungu’s alleged suicide.
In the meanwhile, the education authorities in Limpopo had appointed “learner support agents” to provide emotional support to vulnerable pupils.
The police said Mavhungu was rushed to a hospital at about 6.30 pm on Monday night after she allegedly overdosed on pills and locked herself in her room.
“The police received a call from Siloam Hospital that a learner from Mbilwi High School, Lufuno Mavhungu came to the hospital unconscious and was certified dead on arrival.
“The child arrived home from school and alleged that she was beaten up by the other learner. She thereafter allegedly locked herself up in the room and overdosed on pills,” he said.
The police said Mavhungu’s mother found her unconscious in her bedroom and rushed her to the hospital where she died on arrival.
Police are investigating the matter further, he added.
Meanwhile, Limpopo Education MEC Polly Boshielo expressed concern at the bullying incident and was awaiting a formal report about the incident from the school principal.
“It is quite disturbing to witness this level of violent behaviour among young people.
“We strongly condemn such conduct that has turned our schools into horrendous havens of those who have no regard for their peers.
“Bullying is wrong and will never be tolerated in our schools,” said Boshielo.
Boshielo said those who were involved in the bullying incident would face the music.
“It is important that we also capacitate our schools to strengthen enforcement of their code of conduct, especially on such incidents.
“Education is a societal matter, therefore putting the responsibility on all of us to ensure a safe learning and teaching environment,” said Boshielo.
Meanwhile, on social media, calls are growing for “#JusticeForBoshielo”.
My heart hurts for Lufuno! I wish she knew how valuable she is! How goodness prevails! Bullying is unacceptable and disgusting! Having watched the videos there’s something wrong with that school. The children there need an intervention ASAP! #JusticeForLufuno— Buhle Samuels (@BuhleSamuels_) April 13, 2021
This bully definitely needs to be dealt with by the law. And no please don’t say she’s a child crying for help. Lufuno’s life should not have been used as a wake up call for her parent’s inability to raise a good human being. #JusticeForLufuno— Boitumelo Chabangu (@Boitumelo48) April 13, 2021
#JusticeForLufuno can LO please include extensive chapters on bullying and other social ills, the theory followed by practical examples and stories of the impact of these things on the society today. This is too much. May your soul rest in peace Lufuno.— Thabisile Nkabinde (@ThabiNkabinde) April 13, 2021
Bullying is so disgusting. Please teach your children to be kind. #JusticeForLufuno ❤️🕊— Zippora 🧚🏽♀️ (@_iiiiiiiZ) April 13, 2021