The Limpopo government and education department have been slammed for the handling of bullying and abuse in schools.
The Human Rights Commission said damning findings have emerged after it held a three-day inquiry.
Parents, teachers, unions, and various provincial departments took part.
The investigation follows the death of Lufuno Mavhunga, who took her own life after being assaulted by one of her peers at the Mbilwi Secondary School.
Bullying is often violent and almost always humiliating for the victim.
As it was for Lufuno Mavhunga, who took her own life after being attacked by her tormentors.
The Limpopo Education Department has expressed shock at the number of bullying incidents in the province.
But the Human Rights Commission said it shouldn’t come as a surprise – because it found no coordination, even as high up as the Premier’s office, in dealing with violence in schools.
HRC Limpopo manager Victor Mavhidula said, “we expect this office to take the lead because if they don’t take the lead the challenge that we face is that no other department will be able to coordinate this effort … if every department is doing its own thing without coordinating their work, that is what we have seen in the last few months will be the results because there will be no impact, everyone will just be claiming I am doing my own thing but there will be no impact.”
After Lufuno took her own life – Education MEC Polly Boshielo said an investigation would be launched.
But the HRC found there was no formal request for a report from the school.
Mavhidula said, “there is no committee or investigating team that had been set up by the department to investigate this matter. There is no committee or anything that is being done They are only relying on the mercy of those who are supposed to be accountable to them to choose whether to give them information or not – not that as a department they will say, Victor, this happened under your jurisdiction we want a report There is no such thing in the department.”
The Limpopo Education Department says it is yet to receive the report from the commission. It will consider commenting after having studied it.
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