SAHRC to probe bullying and sexual relations between educators and pupils in Limpopo. Picture credit: HyperText.
SAHRC to probe bullying and sexual relations between educators and pupils in Limpopo. Picture credit: HyperText.

SAHRC to probe school bullying and sex between educators, pupils

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published May 17, 2021

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THE SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will be conducting a hearing into bullying, corporal punishment and sexual relations between educators and pupils in Limpopo province.

The commission announced that it would be visiting the province from May 18-20.

“In view of the monitoring findings made by the Commission of the systemic nature of bullying in schools, as well as a noted increase in reports relating to corporal punishment and sexual relations between pupils and educators, the LPO has resolved to call the Limpopo Department of Education and other key stakeholders to provide the Commission with information and evidence on how these key role-players are addressing the challenges outlined,” the SAHRC statement read.

The SAHRC said the aim of the hearings was to investigate what preventative interventions various education stakeholders in the province have put in place to discourage bullying between pupils in schools. Also, whether education authorities have identified any trends in relation to bullying in the province.

“The outcome of the hearing is also to identify the prevalence of corporal punishment within schools in the province, as well as trends of sexual relations between educators and learners,” said the SAHRC.

Limpopo has recently made headlines due to some of these matters.

Last month, 15-year-old Lufuno Mavhunga from Mbilwi Secondary School committed suicide after a video of her being violently attacked by a fellow pupil went viral. It is alleged that the pupil who was arrested, released and had issued a public apology had been bullying Lufuno at school.

The SAHRC in its initial findings in the matter found that Lufuno had reported the matter to the school principal who ignored her complaint.

The most recent case was that of a 50-year-old teacher who was arrested on Friday for allegedly raping a school pupil. The teacher was also from Mbilwi Secondary School.

The suspect is expected to appear in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

“Bullying in schools has reached a concerning prevalence, highlighted by the recent tragic incidents which unfolded at the Mbilwi Secondary School in the Vhembe District, Limpopo Province. The bullying of learners further adversely affects the rights of minors, including the right to equality, dignity, safety and security and basic education.

“The Commission has called for the participation of parents, teacher unions, the SA Police Service (SAPS), the Department of Social Development (DSD), civil society and others to appear before it and provide evidence under oath during hearing proceedings,” the SAHRC said.

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