Gauteng education member of the executive council (MEC) Panyaza Lesufi at Hoërskool President High School on Friday. PHOTO: Supplied/DGE

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) on Friday, said that the pupils from President High School, in Ridgeway, Johannesburg, who were seen fighting on a video were suspended and will appear before disciplinary proceedings at the end of the month.

"The pupils caught fighting on video have been suspended and will appear before a disciplinary process on 31 January 2019. The disciplinary process will provide more details regarding what transpired, as the learners will have an opportunity to express their side of the story," the GDE said.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the school on Friday morning, to establish the facts regarding the viral video depicting pupils in a violent confrontation. 

In the video, one pupil was seen beating the other until he fell, hitting his head on the ground.

"MEC Lesufi met with the principal, Mr Andre Ferreirra, who indicated that it was an isolated incident following an altercation between the pupils. The preliminary report indicates that the altercation started when the perpetrator threw a ball towards a Grade 8 pupil, which was seen by the victim, who then confronted the perpetrator regarding the incident."

Gauteng education member of the executive council (MEC) Panyaza Lesufi at Hoërskool President High School on Friday. MEDIA: Supplied/GDE

Lesufi cautioned against jumping to conclusion prior to the disciplinary hearing, as it would provide more details about what transpired. 

He also expressed concern over pupils fighting, surrounded by a crowd and the fact that no one tried to intervene to stop the incident, saying that this sent out a bad message.

Lesufi welcomed the decision of the school to deploy additional educators during breaktime.

"This is one of our top performing schools, with 98% matric pass rate. Hence we were concerned when news of such an incident surfaced. We welcome the decision of the school to increase the number of educators who will monitor the pupils during break time, from four educators to 10."

The department said they would not tolerate any form of racism or bullying in schools. 

"We have a responsibility to protect every pupils," said Lesufi. 

The GDE said the psycho-social unit had dispatched a team to the school to provide counselling to both the pupils who were involved in the incident and they would continue to monitor the situation.

African News Agency (ANA)