Parents on high alert after Lufuno Mavhunga bullying incident

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Classmates paid their last respects to Lufuno Mavhunga at her funeral service on 17 April. (Photo: Kayleen Morgan/News24)
Classmates paid their last respects to Lufuno Mavhunga at her funeral service on 17 April. (Photo: Kayleen Morgan/News24)
  • Lufuno Mavhunga died on Monday after a bullying incident at Mbilwi Secondary School.
  • A fellow pupil beat her multiple times while other pupils watched and some cheered. She later overdosed on pills.
  • A memorial service was held for her on Friday.

Family and friends gathered on Saturday to bury and pay their respects to 15-year-old Limpopo pupil, Lufuno Mavhunga.

Mavhunga, a Mbilwi Secondary School pupil, overdosed on pills after she was assaulted in a bullying incident on Monday. She died in hospital.

A memorial service was held for her on Friday.

Humbulani Nefale, a concerned parent whose Grade 10 daughter was friends with Mavhunga, spoke to News24 after the service at the school.

He said parents were worried about their children.

Nefale said he had never seen such an incident at the school and added that they were shocked by it.

He said he sat down with his daughter to discuss what transpired and she told him that she was not there when it happened.

He added:

I am happy with the investigation, more in particular, that the police are investigating what is happening. The school is now responsible for what is happening, and I am comfortable and have confidence and faith that they will stand up and be strengthened.

He advised parents to start improving their relationships with their children and to ask them about their school day or whether they had any grievances.

Mavhunga's death has also been an eye-opener for pupils. 

Phumudzo Masakona, who was in the same grade as Mavhunga, described her as a "decent person" who was against bullying. 

Masakona said: "I feel bad for her. I don't know why she died this way. I feel sad. I [wish] I could have been there, but I wasn't."

Another Grade 8 pupil, Ntavhenyi Maria Mukoma, said Mavhunga did not deserve the humiliation she went through. 

"I would advise children going through the same thing Lufuno went through, to talk to someone and never take their own life. Maybe [speak] to a best friend, a teacher or their parents," he said. 

READ HERE | 'Our hearts sunk when we saw bruises on her face' - friend pays tribute at Lufuno Mavhunga memorial

Two pupils were suspended in connection with the incident.

A 15-year-old was arrested and charged with assault. The teen appeared before a presiding officer on Friday for a preliminary inquiry.

News24 previously reported that Limpopo National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said the minor's case would be dealt with in terms of the Child Justice Act. 

The case was postponed to 20 April for a bail application.

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