False allegations spread about Table View High School fight, says WCED
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Cape Town - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says false allegations have been spread regarding the incident at Table View High School, where learners allegedly fought “over a packet of chips”.
WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the department has noted the seriousness of the incident, as caught on camera, and has been in contact with the school regarding the steps taken to address what transpired.
Hammond said physical assault and abuse cannot be tolerated under any circumstance, and it was important that facts were presented.
She said there were three incidents that were being investigated by the school governing body that happened that day.
An incident went viral, when a video of the fight was shared on social media, showing a pupil being punched and holding his hands around his head defensively while he tries to twist away.
The video stops as the other pupil aims a kick at the pupil on the ground, with other pupils not intervening for the duration of the clip, while one standing close by, had his hands in his pocket.
Hammond said an altercation between the victim in the video and another pupil – allegedly over a packet of chips – was not caught on camera.
She said the second incident was the alleged theft of the victim’s phone and the third was the physical altercation outside the school, as caught on camera.
She said four pupils were involved, and three were facing disciplinary action.
Hammond said the school has dealt with the matter appropriately and effectively. "All learners that engaged in a physical confrontation against the victim that day and those accused of allegedly taking his cell phone have been called into a disciplinary hearing."
She said the alleged victim in the video was not facing disciplinary action, but has been called as a witness, and that the pupil in the video seen assaulting the victim has been temporarily suspended.
"He is not involved in the allegations regarding the theft of the phone," she said, “a mediation meeting between all four learners has already taken place, to which they all apologized for their roles in the various altercations, and apologies accepted.
"Trauma counselling has been arranged for the alleged victim. Further counselling has been arranged for two of the other learners in terms of bullying and anger management," said Hammond.
She said the school has been in contact with all the parents involved. The outcome of the disciplinary hearing would determine the sanctions going forward.
ANC provincial spokesperson on education Khalid Sayed said it was high time that proper charges be investigated by the police, the SA Human Rights Commission and the school authorities to stamp out such thuggish behaviour for once and all.
EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego said they do not take the matter lightly as it was a criminal offence to steal and assault someone with an intention to do grievous bodily harm.