Mourners pay moving tributes to Lufuno Mavhunga
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PRETORIA – Lufuno Mavhunga’s brother Kenneth recounted the six-hour trip he undertook from Pretoria to Limpopo on Tuesday after the teenager allegedly took her life after incidents of bullying and brutal attacks went viral.
“Lufuno was the last daughter of our family. She was loved by everyone in our family, but more than anything, Lufuno was a human being. Lufuno was created in the image of God, like all of us. When we saw Lufuno, we should have seen God. We should have seen the image of God,” Kenneth addressed the memorial service on Friday.
“Her life was taken so early. As a family there were a lot of things that we were still expecting from her. She was our loved one, and we loved her dearly. When the news of her passing came to us, the other members of the family, as you can expect it was a very devastating situation. I remember I had to drive back with one of his (other) brothers.”
Kenneth said the trip from Pretoria was heart-wrenching.
“We drove for six hours and I can tell you that in those six hours, we hardly spoke for 30 minutes. We were so quiet in the car. We did not know what to talk to each other. We understand she is gone and now she is no more,” said Kenneth.
On Monday, a video of the 15-year-old learner being attacked by a fellow learner while others watched and took videos went viral and sparked a furore.
The video shows Lufuno being confronted by another learner before they are interrupted by a learner who slaps her several times.
Defenceless, Lufuno does not fight back. Instead, she tries to reason with her attacker. In the background, other learners are heard mocking her and cheering on the perpetrator.
A second video of the same incident shows the two learners being separated by a male learner. Lufuno’s attacker lands some more slaps and pulls her hair before they are separated.
The 15-year-old Limpopo schoolgirl who allegedly assaulted Lufuno has been arrested and charged as a minor, in accordance with the Child Justice Act. The matter was postponed to next week for formal bail application.
Speakers at the highly emotional memorial service of Lufuno, who allegedly took her life after being bullied and beaten at Mbilwi Secondary School in the Vhembe district in Limpopo, described her as a loving person who will be missed by many.
Muhuliseni Mbau, president of the students’ representative council, paid tribute to the 15-year-old.
“I am standing here to pay tribute to Lufuno, a fellow learner that we have lost. Her smile, her laughter, her sweet loving soul, her kindness, her charisma and her friendly smile – qualities that she spread around with her friends and everyone that she got to meet.
“We were blessed with such a learner, such a classmate and such a friend. She had a vision for her future and it was a future so bright, a future so great. But we are gathered here to say our goodbyes to her. Who would have thought that hers was a smile we shall never get to see again?”
The video of the attack on Lufuno continued to trend on social media, showing the hapless Lufuno being confronted by two girls. One of them signals the other to move while she gets closer to her to slap Lufuno countless times.
Other pupils can be heard in the background cheering on the alleged perpetrator.