Bullying video: Ga-Rankuwa schoolgirl released under strict conditions

2020-02-05 14:40
A screengrab of the incident. (Photo: @LaDumezulu, Twitter)

A screengrab of the incident. (Photo: @LaDumezulu, Twitter)

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The 18-year-old Modiri Secondary School pupil who was captured on video assaulting a fellow pupil, has been released on a warning into her parent's care.

Onthatile Magagula appeared in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court in Pretoria on Wednesday and Magistrate Margaret van Heerden released her under strict conditions.

Among the conditions were that she stayed off social media and that her father accompanied her to school.

She was also warned not to interfere with any of the witnesses involved in the case.

She was moved to an alternative address.

Van Heerden did not reveal when the teenager will appear in court again, citing security concerns.

Magagula must also be accompanied by her father when walking the streets.

In handing down her judgment on Wednesday, Van Heerden said all persons had a right to be presumed not guilty until proven otherwise and to apply for bail and be tried.

She added that the Constitution also guaranteed the teenager's right to freedom.

Van Heerden said while the assault charge against her was a schedule one offence, she would handle it as a schedule five case to ensure no one was prejudiced.

In his testimony, investigating officer Constable Lebogang Matjila said it was alleged that on the day of the incident, the accused poured a milky substance over the victim, hit her with fists and shoved her against a wall.

Matjila said the victim, who is 18, had retaliated and poured water over the accused. This was before bystanders broke up the scuffle. The constable told court he was opposing bail due to a public outcry.

The courtroom was packed on Wednesday with some members of the public clad in #NotInMyName T-shirts, as well as EFF and ANC regalia.

Van Heerden said there was no proof that there was a public outcry and no member of the public was called to take the stand to express their concern.

The magistrate also noted that while Matjila stated that the victim had suffered bruises and was limping due to the incident, there was no proof in the form of a J88 report.

"There is no petition from the public. There is no affidavit from the public, except a court full of people.

"As much as I must make sure that the complainant is safe, I have to make sure the accused is safe too because we are equal. There is no evidence before me that there was any threat, any danger to either the complainant or the accused up until today."

Van Heerden said it was of utmost importance that Magagula be afforded her right to education and to complete matric.

The teen is expected to attend a disciplinary hearing at school on Monday.  


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