Pretoria – The mother of a 15-year-old Montana Poort Secondary School schoolgirl who was brutally assaulted by a Hoërskool Montana pupil, on Monday laid charges of assault against the girl.
The Gauteng Education Department said it was instituting disciplinary action against the alleged attacker. The incident is believed to have its roots in bullying. A cellphone video of the attack surfaced on social media at the weekend, showing the two girls walking hand-in-hand until they reached a secluded area.
The 16-year-old then suddenly pounced – slapping, kicking and punching the unsuspecting Montana Poort girl.In the video, recorded by a friend of the attacker, other girls could be heard laughing in the background while urging those trying to break up the attack not to get involved.
The attack appeared to have been planned, as the pupil recording the video could be heard in the beginning telling the others her cellphone took blurred videos.
The victim, speaking outside the Sinoville police station after laying charges, said the attacker used to be her friend.
“We used to be friends and I didn’t know why she had not been speaking to me for two weeks. So when she held my hand and started walking off with me I assumed she wanted to mend things between us,” she told the Pretoria News.
“I really don’t know what went wrong because she didn’t say anything to me, but instead just started attacking me.”
Her mother said that following the incident, she blamed herself for not teaching her daughter how to defend herself. “I could not sleep on Friday because I wanted to take the pain away from her.
“I felt like I should have taught her how to fight because she was badly beaten and swollen. But in hindsight maybe having her fighting back would have resulted in even more problems.
“I feel like our rights have been violated greatly. Although I hope she (the attacker) gets expelled from school, I am not doing this out of malice. This girl has been praised for beating up my daughter and she needs to be taught a lesson.”
Sakkie Jacobs, principal of Hoërskool Montana, said management was informed of the incident had since started an investigation into the matter.
“We are seriously looking into the matter as the girl was wearing the school uniform during the attack and could thus be identified with the school. It concerns us even though it took place outside the schoolyard because it reflects negatively on the school.
“Such behaviour is unacceptable and once our investigations are done, we will be providing feedback to the principal of the affected pupil.”
Provincial Department of Education spokesman Oupa Bodibe said they were aware of the incident and strongly condemned bullying in schools.
Bodibe said disciplinary processes as prescribed in the code of conduct for pupils had been instituted against the alleged attacker.
“Counselling will be offered to the affected pupil.
“We urge parents to assist the department in instilling pupil discipline in and outside the school environment. We further urge pupils to refrain from acts of misconduct in schools,” added.