Rights commission probes ‘racist’ Vaal school bullying

2013-09-20 11:17

A case of school bullying which appeared to be a violation of a 16-year-old boy’s human rights is being monitored by the SA Human Rights Commission.

“The commission is actively monitoring this matter,” spokesperson Isaac Mangena said today.

The commission asked the Gauteng education department to urgently intervene in the matter, which allegedly involved the boy being racially abused and forced to drink his own urine. He was subsequently transferred to another school.

The commission was awaiting the department’s report before it began its own investigation.

“The department has confirmed that it has appointed an independent investigator to look into the matter, which, on the face of it, looks like a serious human rights violation.”

The Sowetan reported yesterday that the boy was forced to change schools from Hoërskool Transvalia in Vanderbijlpark owing to constant bullying.

The boy’s mother complained that a group of bullies called her son a “k***r”, stripped him naked, asked what a “k***r” was doing at a white school, and forced him to drink his own urine.

Mangena said the SAHRC was updating the child and his mother on progress.

“We will be looking at the bullying incident and lack of intervention from the school.”

According to Thursday’s report, a meeting was held, in Afrikaans, with the school governing body and a Sedibeng municipal official. It was adjourned until October 3 as the mother needed to bring in an interpreter.

The mother said her son had since attempted to commit suicide, the newspaper reported.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Gershwin Chuenyane said an independent team of investigators had been appointed to look into the matter.

The mother opened a case of assault with the Vanderbijlpark police.

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