Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Benoni - Five Crystal Park High School pupils captured on camera assaulting a fellow schoolmate have been suspended, the Gauteng Department of Education confirmed on Monday. 

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the school after a video emerged last week showing a group of pupils repeatedly kick and punch a cowering schoolmate outside the school. 

Five pupils have since made an appearance in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. 

They were released into the custody of their parents. 

Lesufi, addressing pupils, said the department supported the School Governing Body's (SGB) decision to suspend the pupils. 

Video: Gauteng Education Department

"We support the decision taken by the SGB to suspend them immediately. But we're not only suspending them, I said to the SGB, they wanted to have the hearing today or next week, I said wait a bit, do it in April or May.

"We've given them [pupils] an opportunity to come to school, they've abused it so they're going to stay at home," he told the pupils.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed that the departments's Psychosocial team is currently at the school to provide necessary counselling to the victim. 

This support will also be extended to the suspended pupils. 

“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," Lesufi said in conclusion.