The family and friends of Lufuno Mavhungu, the Limpopo pupil who committed s_uicide, will bid her farewell in a funeral service on Saturday, 17 April 2021.
Mavhungu, a 15-year-old learner from Mbilwi Secondary School in Thohoyandou, is believed to have taken her own life by overdosing on pills, not too long after video of her being assaulted by another pupil went viral.
Her death touched the hearts of many South Africans and helped to highlight the extent on bullying in schools across the country.
The fellow pupil who allegedly assaulted Lufuno Mavhungu was subsequently arrested and made an appearance in the Thohoyandou Children’s Magistrates Court on Friday, April 16, 2021, where the matter was postponed.
“The arrested child will be dealt with following the Child Justice Act, as she is still a minor. The matter has been remanded to 20 April 2021 for formal bail application. The case will be heard in camera,” the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said.
Mavhungu’s funeral takes place a day after her school held a memorial service in her honour. Her friend Mukoma Tshinakahi was visibly distraught and fought battled tears as she spoke of how the bullying incident affected Lufuno.
“What was her crime? Being silent? Being nice? I was fuming when she cried in my lap and I couldn’t do anything. Although we may have fights sometimes, the love was always there, never weakened and never broken,” she said.
“If only we had helped, maybe she would have still been here today. Even though her decision cost us a lot, she is now in a better place (and) free from those who did not allow her to spread her wings”
Lufuno Mavhungu’s close friend, Mukoma Tshinakahi
The school has been blamed for failing to take appropriate action. Mavungu’s brother had alerted the principal about his sister’s assault, however nothing was done.
According to Jacaranda FM, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, who visited Mbilwi Secondary School, said she was awaiting a report into the incident and protocols such as disciplinary measures would be taken against teachers.
“We will be informed by the report and what our policy says. We can’t pre-empt what it will say and we can’t say yes if they were negligent we will fire them”