'Racist' initiation: Pupil faces charges

2012-03-13 10:33

Newcastle - A top netball player at a Newcastle school is under criminal investigation for duping two new teammates into eating baby food, allegedly laced with saliva, during an initiation ceremony.

Police are investigating a case of crimen injuria against the Grade 11 pupil at Ferrum High School in the northern KwaZulu-Natal town, amid accusations of racism.

She was also suspended from participating in sports pending the finalisation of an inquiry by the KZN education department.

The pupil’s mother declined to comment on Monday night.

School racially polarised

A Ferrum High pupil told The Witness the incident had racially polarised the school, with white pupils siding with the Grade 11 pupil and black pupils backing the two new players, aged 17 and 18.

She said it was not even certain that there was saliva in the baby food.

Khosi Mbuli, the mother of the 18-year-old, is a Zulu teacher at the school. She and other parents picketed outside the school on Monday in protest at its alleged tardiness in dealing with the matter.

Mbuli said she reported the incident to the school governing body on Thursday - the day of the incident - but no action was taken.

This was clear from a netball match on Saturday, when the girl was still playing in the team and had allegedly showed no remorse.

The initiation occurred on the school premises.

Although there were three new players in the team, only the two black teammates were present.

It was not clear why the third player was not there

An angry Mbuli said: “This is wrong. It is racism.

“Why was the white girl not there when they were forced to drink this Purity?

“Just because they are black they are treated this way. No, this thing needs to end.

“They planned this in their class to do it to blacks. They see nothing wrong to this thing. Some even say it’s not a big deal. They are affected psychologically.”

Dignity violated

She said her child was traumatised and would receive counselling.

Asked whether the protest would affect her relationship with her teaching colleagues, Mbuli said she had acted as a parent, not a teacher. She added that she would stay in the school and her child would finish her matric there.

“I am not going to move from this school because of this. I don’t care about what they are saying about this. I will stand for the truth and the rights of my child,” said Mbuli.

Her daughter told The Witness the incident was part of first netball team’s initiation of new team members.

“We suspected that there was something wrong as it was more liquid, but she [the top player] said it was just because it was in the sun. We drank it.

“After that one of her classmates told us that she had spat in it in their class and mixed it. When we confronted her she denied it.

“My dignity as a human being is violated and I feel bad about this entire thing that happened to me.” She said the police had video footage of the alleged incident.

Another protesting parent, who asked not to be named, said it was a very serious offence that needed to be addressed quickly.


KwaZulu-Natal education spokesperson Sihle Mhlotshwa said the principal informed the department of the event on Friday.

He could not comment further until the investigation was completed.

Ferrum headmaster WF Swanepoel said he could not give any information while the district office was investigated it.

National Association of Schools Governing Bodies’ chairperson Reginald Chiliza said that if the claims were true, “such incidents are undermining black people’s dignity. Maybe this is an influence from home - or she was just being a naughty child”.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed a crimen injuria case was being investigated.

- Are you there? Send us your story.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  racism  |  education

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.00

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.