Pupil charged with assaulting Lufuno Mavhunga out on bail
Pretoria – The 14-year-old Mbilwi Secondary School learner arrested for allegedly assaulting fellow learner Lufuno Mavhunga, who later committed suicide, was on Thursday released on bail.
“Bail has been fixed at R1 500, with conditions not to interfere with witnesses. The other condition is that the minor in conflict with the law must not travel outside Limpopo without knowledge of the investigating officer,” said Limpopo spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi.
She said the case has been postponed to May 27 for further investigation by the SAPS. Malabi-Dzhangi added that the learner has been charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
“We opposed the bail, considering the seriousness of the offence, even though we are dealing with a child who is in conflict with the law.
’’The court, however, felt that the bail may be fixed, although the defence wanted the child to be released under the custody of her parent.”
The 14-year-old was arrested after an April 12 video – in which she is allegedly seen assaulting Lufuno – went viral.
Lufuno later died by suicide at her parents’ home.
Earlier this month, Malabi-Dzhangi said the learner had appeared for a preliminary hearing before a presiding officer and that that process had been concluded.
“The child in conflict with the law assaulted another learner who later committed suicide. This matter will be dealt with according to the Child Justice Act prescripts.”
Lufuno was buried in Limpopo on April 17. At an emotional memorial service held a day before the burial, her brother Kenneth recounted the six-hour trip he undertook from Pretoria to Limpopo when the teenager took her life after videos showing how she was bullied and assaulted were widely circulated online.
“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 (about). We understand she is gone and now she is no more,” he told mourners at the memorial service.
One of the viral videos shows Lufuno having a heated conversation with another learner before they are interrupted by a third, who slaps her several times.
Lufuno does not fight back but instead tries to reason with her attacker. In the background, other students can be heard cheering on the perpetrator.
A second video of the same incident shows the two girls being separated by a male learner. Lufuno’s attacker lands a few more slaps and pulls her hair before they are separated.
African News Agency (ANA)