Lesufi calls on tough action against bullies

2019-03-11 17:31
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (Mduduzi Ndzingi, Gallo Images, file)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (Mduduzi Ndzingi, Gallo Images, file)

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Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has urged police to act decisively against a group of pupils who attacked a fellow pupil at Crystal Park High School, in Ekurhuleni, last week.

A video of a pupil being attacked by an angry mob of fellow pupils at the school went viral on social media and messaging apps.

Lesufi, accompanied by other officials from the department, visited the school on Monday. Ahead of his address, he was welcomed by jubilant pupils who broke into a struggle song.

READ: Another video recording of a school fight in Ekurhuleni emerges, Lesufi calls for end to 'madness'

The MEC said he supported the school governing body's (SGB) decision to suspend the group of pupils who carried out the attack that took place on Wednesday last week.

So far, five pupils who are in grades 8 and 9 are facing criminal charges and are expected to appear again in court soon. They have since been released into the custody of their parents.

The victim, aged 14, has since returned to school.

'You must stop the madness'

Lesufi urged pupils to anonymously send him a list of the names of bullies at the school.

"If there are three common names on the list, they need to come to us [so we can] assist them to stop bullying our children," he said.

Lesufi said the five pupils who have been suspended deserve to stay at home.

"I told police that those who attacked the victim must have criminal records, that is the only way they should learn.

"You must stop your madness in our school. You can't fight for wrong and senseless things in our schools," he said.

Lesufi said the incident had embarrassed him and he called on pupils to resolve their problems in a civilised manner instead of using violence.

"The entire country is embarrassed.

'I am the only starring'

"I have had a session with the victim and her parents. It was difficult for me to say to them, 'I am sorry'. Every child deserves to be safe in school. No person has a right to attack another. If you attack another child in our school, we will deal with you. Society expects you to be protected. If you want to be protected, why harm another child?"

Lesufi said the department had to act decisively.

"There is no starring (lead actor) in my schools. I am the only starring. If any other person thinks he or she is the starring, he or she is wrong."

He urged pupils to protect the victim and not victimise her further, adding he feared that further victimisation could harm the girl.

He said the attack was a clear attempted murder offence.

"I want to turn offenders into good people. If they are not going to come here and say they are sorry, we won't wait for them.

Another video

"I am apologising to the learner who was harmed," he said.

The chairperson of the school governing body, Noti Madisa, said there was a strong mechanism in place to deal with unruly pupils.

He said they had dealt with some pupils for bringing drugs onto the property or bunking school.

Earlier on Monday, just hours before visiting Crystal Park High School, the MEC tweeted a video showing two girls fighting at a school in Edenvale.

"Another madness, this time at Edenvale High, Ekurhuleni #EndTheMadness" the MEC wrote on Twitter, in reaction to the latest video.

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  education

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