WATCH | Two pupils expelled after bullying video goes viral

12 March 2019 - 07:43 By Nico Gous

The Mpumalanga education department has expelled two grade 9 pupils after a video in which they bullied a grade 8 pupil at the Duvha Combined School in eMalahleni (Witbank) last month went viral.

“Because these two learners fall within the compulsory attendance age, the circuit manager has been tasked to enroll them in another school and to closely monitor their conduct,” departmental spokesperson Jasper Zwane said on Tuesday.

Zwane said the department believes this will “send a clear message that bullying will not be tolerated in schools”.

In the 24-second video a bigger boy confronts the victim and keeps asking him in isiZulu “what were you saying” while he smacks him over the head.

The younger boy with his backpack still strapped to his back does not reply. He covers his head to protect himself from the series of blows instead.

Another boy then joins in the pummeling. He smacks and punches the victim before a third attacker joins in who also slaps the victim.

One boy comes and pulls the second attacker away.

All the while, the person believed to be taking the video is chuckling in the background. It is unclear how the altercation ended.

The victim’s mother told TimesLIVE last month that the incident happened on January 30.

“The big boy seen in the video is a grade 9 learner and he is a prefect at the school. According to my son, some pupils had been stoning the security guard’s houses near the school and [the prefect] reprimanded those who were doing this,” she said.

“My son joined in and told those throwing stones to stop and, apparently, this boy [the prefect] was angered, feeling my son is taking his job.”

On the day of the attack, she said, she was off from work. When her son returned she offered him a pie, but he said he was not feeling well and would just head to bed. Without looking at his mother, he accepted painkillers and went to his room.

For several days after that, she had to force her son to hurry and get ready for school, noticing that he was stalling every morning.

The mother only learnt of the video on February 6 after the school principal phoned her.