Johannesburg - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has advised the school governing body of Crystal Park High School not to rush the disciplinary hearing of the five schoolgirls who were caught on video assaulting a female student.
The video showing a grade nine learner being attacked by five others went viral last week. The violent nature of the assault prompted the education MEC to visit the school this week. Lesufi described it as "attempted murder".
“Ill-discipline will never be allowed to persist in our schooling environment. We urge all our learners to refrain from acts of misconduct in schools; and implore parents to assist the department in instilling learner discipline in and outside the school environment,” said Lesufi during his address at the school on Monday.
The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) said preliminary investigations revealed that an argument ensued, subsequently leading to the fight which occurred about 30 m from the school premises.
The GDE said all parents of the implicated learners were called to the school to discuss the disciplinary processes.
The alleged perpetrators have been on precautionary suspension since Thursday pending their disciplinary hearing.
Lesufi said he advised the school governing body "not to rush" to facilitate the disciplinary hearings for the alleged culprits.
"Our Psychosocial team is currently at the school to provide necessary counselling to the victim. This support will also be extended to the perpetrators who are currently on suspension," the GDE said.
"It must be noted that, the parent of the victim, reported this incident to the police who arrested all perpetrators and released them to their parents’ custody. Police are investigating this matter."
The department said it strongly condemns violence and other forms of bad behaviour at schools.
"We have a policy of zero tolerance to any form of misconduct. Anyone found to be transgressing this policy is dealt with in line with South African Schools Act code of conduct, which governs all schools. Schools are urged to enforce their codes of conduct to deal with all disciplinary matters," warned the GDE.
African News Agency/ANA