KEMPTON PARK, South Africa – Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has confirmed that a criminal complaint has been laid with the police after a grade 9 pupil was violently attacked by a schoolmate at a Kempton Park school.
Footage of the incident that occurred at Hoërskool Kempton Park last week has been shared on social media platforms.
It shows a pupil punching another boy and kicking him before slamming his body onto the bathroom floor.
Lesufi met with the school’s management earlier on Wednesday.
He said that disciplinary processes were under way: “We’ve impressed on the school leadership and SGB the importance of dealing with this hearing a quickly as possible because this allows us to deal with the matter without really being influenced by society or be influenced by other institutions, so the sooner we deal with these kinds of issues, the better.”
VIDEO: Lesufi visits Kempton Park school after assault video goes viral
Violence in schools has been thrust in the spotlight more so in recent weeks.
Earlier this month a pupil died after being stabbed with a pair of scissors at the Thuto Tiro Secondary School in the Vaal.
There were other fatal attacks in Kwazulu-Natal and the Western Cape.
In June this year, the Department of Basic Education said it had measures in place to deal with bullying and other forms of violence in schools.
• The department said it had a long-standing protocol agreement with the South African Police Service. A total of 18,000 schools were linked to police stations within their vicinity. The agreement entailed the police conducting random visits to educate learners about the dangers of crime and violence, starting with bullying. The police were also expected to conduct unannounced search and seizure operations in schools;
• In Life Orientation, learners were taught the importance of self-discipline, responsibility, respect for self and others and other important life skills tools;
• The Department of Sports and Recreation entered into a partnership with the Department of Basic Education, in which 2,500 schools, hubs and sports clubs received equipment and attire. This was part of an intervention to keep learners preoccupied and away from destructive activities;
The department said it was deeply concerned that despite the measures, its anti-violence strategy was not yielding any results.
Spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education Elijah Mhlanga said the strategies required everyone affected to play their part in making sure that the policies and guidelines were effectively implemented.
“Crime prevention and the teaching of positive values and morals require a joint effort from all stakeholders, as violent tendencies are not just a direct influence but from society.”