School bus driver attacked for 'leaving learners behind' at stop

Video footage of a student physically attacking a bus driver while the bus was in motion has emerged on social media. Spokesperson for the department of education Elijah Mhlanga took to Twitter to condemn the learner's behaviour. It was not immediately clear when the incident took place.

Two teenagers who assaulted a 61-year-old man behind the wheel of a moving bus while pupils on board screamed hysterically carried out the attack because they had been left behind at a previous stop.

Video footage of one of the attackers — from Hoerskool Oosterland in Secunda‚ Mpumalanga – slapping and punching the driver was shared on social media.

“Information at police disposal suggests that the driver stopped for other pupils to board the bus when the two learners also boarded‚” said police spokesman Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe on Wednesday.

“They then asked the driver why he had left them behind at the previous pick-up point. Before he could respond‚ they began kicking and punching him on the face‚ to everyone’s surprise‚ while the bus was in motion — thereby clearly putting the lives of the other learners in peril.”

The video starts off with the pupil‚ wearing his school uniform‚ pointing at the bus driver in a confrontational manner. Other schoolchildren are heard heckling the driver‚ saying he should stop the bus.

The driver reaches his hand out to the pupil in a bid to stop him as he comes closer. The youngster then slaps the man.

He manages to stop the bus as the pupil gets on top of him‚ pinning him down to his seat while punching him several times in his upper body.

Other learners are heard screaming as the man is beaten.

It was not clear how the altercation ended. The 29-second clip only shows one part of the assault‚ in which the 19-year-old pupil is seen hitting the bus driver.

The other pupil is 15 years old.

Bhembe said both learners have been charged with assault. “The matter was reported to the police and a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was registered‚ with the duo being arrested as a result‚” he said.

The teenagers appeared in the Leslie Periodical Court on Friday September 14. The 15-year-old was released into his parents’ custody and the other was released on warning.

They are expected to appear again on October 10 in the same court.

The boys also faced a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday. Education department spokesperson Jasper Zwane could not immediately give details on the outcome of the hearing.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma condemned the incident‚ saying it was “unbecoming conduct by young people‚ who do not show or have respect for adults.”

He called for the intervention of parents‚ saying they should search school bags on a regular basis for weapons and drugs.

“Wherever professional help is needed‚ parents must come forth. The SAPS in conjunction with other stakeholders will assist children wherever possible‚” said Zuma.

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