LUFUNO Mavhungu was bullied by another pupil on Monday, 12 April and the incident was caught on camera.
Sadly, police confirmed that the grade 10 pupil from Mbilwi Secondary School near Thohoyandou in Limpopo died after taking an overdose of tablets after the incident.
Her death sparked outrage, with social media users calling for justice under #JusticeForLufuno.
In a number of video clips that went viral on Tuesday, 13 April, the 15-year-old was involved in what appears to be a confrontational conversation with another pupil.
Another pupil aggressively steps in, interrupts the conversation and immediately slaps Lufuno across her face multiple times.
Lufuno kept her hands stretched open to protect herself. Other pupils could be heard laughing and taking videos before breaking up the fight.
However, the attacker returned and slapped Lufuno before pulling her hair.
Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said an inquest docket had been opened.
“The police received a call from Siloam Hospital that Lufuno arrived unconscious and was certified dead on arrival. According to information received, the child arrived home from school and alleged she was beaten up by another pupil. She allegedly locked herself in the room and consumed an overdose of pills.”
Mojapelo said her mother found her lying unconscious and rushed her to hospital.
More videos later emerged on social media with claims that arrests were made in connection with Lufuno’s attack. However, police could not confirm these claims.
On Tuesday afternoon, a woman who identified herself as Lufuno’s sister Pfarelo took to social media asking for burial donations.
In an emotional video, she said their parents were unemployed and she found it hard to deal with Lufuno’s passing.
She said: “She was like a daughter to me. I don’t know what to say or what to do.”
Limpopo Education MEC Polly Boshielo sent a message of condolences to Lufuno’s family and friends.
She said she noted with concern the increasing number of bullying incidents in schools.
“We strongly condemn such conduct that has turned our schools into horrendous havens for those who have no regard for their peers. Bullying is wrong and will never be tolerated in our schools.”
She said the department appointed learner support agents to offer emotional support to vulnerable pupils.
WHERE TO GET HELPChildline is a non-profit organisation that works to protect children from all forms of violence and to create a culture of children’s rights in South Africa. Call their toll-free helpline on 0800 055 555.
Sadag is an NGO that engages in mental health advocacy work and provides psychological education, phone counselling and support groups. Call 0800 12 13 14.