College boys face talk on traditions after barbaric run

2015-10-20 09:37
Maritzburg College’s last day ‘rush’ snowballed when matrics allegedly began assaulting younger pupils.

Maritzburg College’s last day ‘rush’ snowballed when matrics allegedly began assaulting younger pupils. (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - The mother of a pupil who was hospitalised after the last week’s allegedly violent clashes at Maritzburg College believes the school “downplayed” the incident. 

The mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her minor son, said she was “shocked” to read the Maritzburg College headmaster’s response to the incident in Weekend Witness.

The parents have now opened a criminal charge against the pupil who allegedly pushed her son causing him to be hospitalised for three days.

“Has the principal ... downplayed the violent behaviour at the school or [did he] choose to ignore the severity of it? Was my son not important enough to be counted as someone who was hospitalised due to the violence?” she said responding to headmaster Chris Luman saying that no pupil was hospitalised.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, the mother of the Grade 10 pupil said her son was rushed to hospital on Thursday afternoon after he complained of severe back pain.

She said her son was pushed by a matriculant during the school “raid” which saw Grade 12 pupils running through the school with some allegedly physically assaulting the younger boys. Police confirmed that a case of assault was opened at the Alexandra Road police station yesterday by the parents of the injured boy.

The “raid” is a Maritzburg College tradition where matriculants run through the school corridors on their last day of classes. However this year, at least 10 boys were injured and at least one hospitalised.

The mother said her son was pushed down an embankment and hit his back on a boulder.

“He was so badly hurt that his friends had to help him up and take him to the teacher. My son said the teacher used some purple medicine on his bruises and then gave him two Panados before sending him on his way,” said the mother.

She said when her son arrived at home he was “crying with pain” and they immediately rushed him to Mediclinic hospital in Payn Street.

“The doctors found a trace of blood in his urine so we were worried about his kidneys. He has been in consultation with a neurosurgeon, undergone an ultrasound and x-ray and is now seeing a physiotherapist,” said the mother.

She said the physiotherapist said her son’s injuries were similar to a slipped disk.

“My son was my priority when all this happened, but now that he has been discharged I have had time to think. He has given a statement to the police and a case of assault was opened at the Alexandra police station. I must add my disappointment in the school since no one bothered to contact us when the injury occurred. And still, even after I notified the school that my son was hospitalised, no one contacted us,” added the mother.

She said her son described the day’s events as “shocking and barbaric”.

Last week, Luman denied allegations that pupils were hospitalised or severely injured. Yesterday Luman said that they were notified about the boy’s hospitalisation after they had already responded to questions from Weekend Witness.

However, he said a senior staff member visited the boy at his home.

“The school was appalled to hear of what had happened to this boy and, as stated previously, does not condone and will not tolerate such behaviour. We will be discussing the role of traditions with the boys,” said Luman.

He added that once all statements were received from the boys, the school would be implementing further disciplinary action.

“We have not been informed of any other boys being hospitalised. As with the other boys that have been disciplined, we will formally address any additional evidence of unacceptable behaviour and are still busy talking to those boys wishing to discuss the matter,” he added.

SOURCES say Hilton College boys ran amok after school headmaster reprimanded pupils for their vulgar picture posted on social media last week.

It is believed the boys brought alcohol onto the school property and ran naked through the school after headmaster Peter Ducasse spoke to them earlier.

Sources added that school teachers were “shattered” at the boys’ response to the headmaster.

The boys were reprimanded after an image of five Hilton boys engaged in a mock sexual act did the rounds on social media. The picture showed four boys performing a sexual act on another boy dressed in a St Anne’s uniform.

Ducasse said that the two incidents were not related and are “being addressed according to school policy and procedures”.

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