Bullied matriculant overcomes legal wrangle

2011-01-08 19:50

Krugersdorp matriculant Edwin Botha (19) did not achieve his goal of five distinctions, instead achieving only two.

But this time last year he was unsure if he would even be promoted to Grade 12, and it took him a court case to get there.

The court case was to allow Botha a promotion even though he had not written his Grade 11 final exams.

According to Botha, the biggest challenge was “not to get distracted by the court case and all the emotions ­involved.

I also needed to get myself to forgive those who tried to destroy me”.

Botha began as a star ­pupil of Hoërskool Noordheuwel in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, and was appointed deputy head boy at the end of 2009.

However, when he refused to partake in ­initiation practices things ­started falling apart.

Botha says: “I was diagnosed with GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) in March 2009. ­

During the initiation I was ­singled out and due to the ­actions of the school bullies, I had a complete emotional ­breakdown.”

He missed his Grade 11 final exams and would have been ­denied entry to Grade 12.

According to Botha, the ­principal said he would be ­promoted based on his Grade 11 term marks, and when this did not happen, the Botha family went to court.

They won the case and Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Charles Phahlane was reported as saying at the time that Botha had provided a valid medical certificate to excuse himself from his exams, and based on his Grade 11 performance they would promote him without ­delay.

This allowed him to ­continue into matric last year.

The court ruled that he had to be taken into matric, but he did not have to be granted all previous honours awarded to him by the school.

“I was stripped of all previous recognition and refused basic things like my academic, cultural and leadership colours,” says Botha.

To Botha, matric is a final stepping stone towards his ­career and further studies.He will be studying business science this year and says: “My final goal is to obtain my ­doctorate before the age of 25.

I will also enter the family business this year to obtain all ­relevant practical experience,” he says, “which will complement my studies.”

Hoërskool Noordheuwel ­principal Dr Jac Fourie refused to comment, citing ongoing ­legal matters.

Botha is, however, unaware of pending legal ­matters related to his case.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.