KwaZulu-Natal education officials contacted at least two schools on Thursday morning to try get to the bottom of a brutal assault‚ captured on video‚ of a schoolgirl.
However‚ at one of the schools in the northern reaches of KZN‚ it was simply a case of mistaken identity based on a similar uniform. The principal of another school also told officials that it was not his institution.
An official told TimesLIVE that there was a meeting this morning between officials and SAPS crime intelligence to get assistance.
While this happens‚ the hunt is still on for the perpetrator‚ whose assault video has gone viral. It is believed – both by provincial and national officials – that the school is in KZN
Second clip shows a male‚ presumably a schoolboy‚ kicking and hitting a uniformed girl‚ knocking her to the ground. The perpetrator continues to kick the girl in the head and back of the neck while insulting her.
Towards the end of the clip another boy appears but does not stop the assault – in fact‚ it sounds like he is condoning what is happening.
The KZN department of education issued a statement saying they were working hard to eliminate bullying at schools and urged social media users to refrain from circulating the video further.
“We expect all our schools to have an anti-bullying policy that seeks to protect all children. It is very important that learners know that all forms of bullying are totally unacceptable within the school‚” said Kwazi Mthethwa‚ the spokesman for the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Education Mthandeni Dlungwana
Mthethwa said bullying is sometimes a sign that the culprit is experiencing problems at home.
“We therefore call upon teachers‚ parents‚ SGB [school governing body] the society at large to report such incidents to our authorities as and when it occurs. In addition‚ the department is prepared to work with the bully to help them find alternative ways of behaving. Lastly we urge social media users to stop circulating this terrible video clip to protect the victim‚” he said.
Meanwhile‚ the national education department has also weighed in.
“The department will ensure that the strongest action possible is taken against the offending learner. We view gender based violence in a very serious light and we expect the police to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice as a matter of urgency‚” the department said.
It added that the assaulted girl would have her medical needs taken care of.