TERENCE Mataruse, a Form Four student in Zaka, Masvingo, died after he was brutally assaulted by fellow pupils for allegedly stealing a cell phone last week, police have confirmed.

Six Advanced Level students at Jichidza High School have since been arrested in connection with the murder as police investigations continue.

Masvingo provincial acting police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nkululeko Nduna confirmed the development and said the arrested students were aged between 18 and 19 years. Nduna declined to reveal the names of the students saying this could jeopardise ongoing investigations.

Sources said Mataruse was severely assaulted by a group of -Level pupils who accused him of stealing their colleague's cell phone.

The group left him for dead and he was later picked up by other students who reported the case to the school authorities.

Mataruse was later given a pass to go home to seek medical attention and it is reported that he died in his sleep due to nose bleeding at his parents' home.

A post-mortem has since been conducted and indicated that Mataruse died as a result of the assault

Police are expected to arrest more pupils in connection with the murder.

Local parents said Mataruse's case was testimony of the problem of bullying which is believed to be rampant in many schools, with the perpetrators going scot-free.

Some students have been forced to transfer from certain schools because of bullying but school heads have been reluctant to bring the perpetrators to book.

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