The Mbilwi Secondary School pupil who reportedly committed suicide following her assault outside the school premises was found lying unconscious by her mother on Monday, Limpopo police said on Wednesday.
A 15-year-old learner from the same school has been arrested for assault.
A video showing the pupil being bullied after being repeatedly slapped in the face has caused outrage, with social media users calling for action, using the hashtag #JusticeForLufuno trending.
In the video, a petite girl is standing with her back against a wall surrounded by other teenagers when she is backhanded in the face by a much taller teen. Those surrounding her look on as others cheer.
In another video, some of the pupils can be seen trying to stop the perpetrator to no avail.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Lufuno Mavhunga reportedly went home in the afternoon following the incident, locked herself in her room and consumed an overdose of tablets.
“She was apparently found by her mother lying unconscious and was taken to Siloam Hospital where she was certified dead on arrival,” Mojapelo said.
The incident was reported to the police on Wednesday morning and an inquest docket has been opened. Police investigations continue.
The arrested child will be dealt with in accordance with the Child Justice Act.
The Limpopo Department of Education said it was also investigating the video.
“It is quite disturbing to witness this level of violent behaviour among young people,” said Limpopo education MEC Polly Boshielo.
“We strongly condemn such conduct that has turned our schools into horrendous havens of those who have no regards for their peers. Bullying is wrong and will never be tolerated in our schools.”
Meanwhile, the SA Human Rights Commission in the province said it would conduct a fact-finding visit to the school.
“The commission underscores the importance of section 28 of the Constitution which determines that the best interests of children are considered paramount in all matters considering them. The commission also recognizes that the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 includes bullying as a form of child abuse,” the commission said.
“The endeavoured visit is therefore aimed at gathering more information on the tragic events that occurred in this community and to raise awareness of the importance of children’s rights.”
In other news – Former Muvhango actress Phindile Gwala eats humble pie – buys phone of student she beat up
Speaking to the publication, Nompilo said: “I can confirm that the matter is now under the bridge. The issue between myself and Phindile has been resolved. I met with her on Monday, she apologised and replaced my iPhone.” Learn More