Bullying victim from Shallcross intent on leaving province

2013-08-21 00:00

THE Grade 11 Durban pupil who suffered fractures to several neck vertebrae after he was allegedly targeted by school bullies will relocate to Gauteng as he no longer feels safe in the city he grew up in.

Zhain Abu-Baker (18) from Shallcross was nearly killed by two fellow school pupils on July 22.

They allegedly used a professional wrestling manoeuvre called the “piledriver” to knock his head into concrete-covered ground.

Several neck vertebrae were fractured and there was concern that he might be paralysed for life.

Abu-Baker, who attends Marklands Secondary in Chatsworth, told The Witness that he felt abandoned by the KwaZulu-Natal education system.

“I can’t go to school. Those bullies are still there and the school has not made much effort to see me.

“However, my friends have been very supportive, visiting me on a regular basis. My parents live in Gauteng, hence my intention to move.”

Currently living with his grandparents, Abu-Baker said he would not be able to complete school this year as he was instructed by his doctor “to rest as much as possible”.

He spent the first 10 days in R.K. Khan Hospital in Chatsworth before being transferred to King Edward VIII Hospital for an operation.

“I have had a plate put in my neck and bone taken out of my hip due to the injuries I sustained. I could probably go back to school, but if I am bumped into I could get badly injured again.

“My ability to walk is not 100%, but I no longer need to use the wheelchair. I will probably only be active again in six to 12 months’ time,” he said.

A cricket fan and lover of cars, especially BMWs and VWs, he said he would return to school eventually, but not to Marklands Secondary.

He said the parents of the alleged bullies have not tried to contact him.

“We have opened a case of attempted murder at the Chatsworth police station. The law must take its course and of course, if they are found guilty, they must pay for the mounting medical bills. Other pupils have been bullied by these guys but they are too frightened to come forward.”

Marklands Secondary principal Anwar Khan said at this stage an “amicable decision” had been reached between Abu-Baker’s grandfather Pastor Bobby Moodley, and the parents of the two other boys implicated. “We want Zhain to be able to give testimony in the disciplinary procedure, so we have yet to take any action against the boys who are accused of bullying him,” said Khan.

The discplinary hearing is expected to take place at the school on August 27.

Khan said if the two boys are found guilty of severely beating Abu-Baker, they could face suspension.

“Suspension is for a maximum of five days. However, if the offence is deemed serious enough, the matter will be handed over to the Department of Education ,which has the the authority to expel,” said Khan.

Police said yesterday that two 16-year-old boys had been arrested and appeared in the magistrate’s court on July 27.

They will appear again on September 6.

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