There is something dodgy going on at Mbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo where a teenager died following a bullying incident.
At least those are the sentiments shared by both the Department of Education and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) after they visited the school on Wednesday.
The commission said it had opened a full investigation into the incident while Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said she was not satisfied with the answers her department received from the principal in a meeting with the school management.
“There is a lot to be attended to at that school. There are previous incidences of violence among learners which have all been reported but the school turned a blind eye to them,” said Victor Mavhidula, SAHRC office manager in the province.
We have established in our fact-finding visit at the school that there is preferential treatment based on leaners’ background at the school.
Mavhidula said that the girl’s death could have been prevented if the incident was attended to accordingly.
We have been told that some learners from poor backgrounds report incidents and they are not attended to, whereas some learners would report incidents and action would be taken.
He said that the principal could not deny any of the allegations leveled against him.
The principal has been accused of using corporal punishment and of turning a blind eye to many incidences of fights at the school, according to Mavhidula.
Motshekga said the provincial education department would return to the school. She said she was not satisfied with the answers that the principal gave her.
“Maybe the meeting was too big for him. I have heard after the meeting that the school has had disciplinary issues. We have not identified the problem,” Motshekga said.