WATCH | Boy starts school fight but then gets knocked out himself
Hoërskool President in the south of Johannesburg has suspended four learners after a video of a fight surfaced on social media on Thursday.
“No one knows what caused the fight,” Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Friday during a visit to the school in Ridgeway.
The fight happened on Tuesday and the learners were suspended the same day.
In the video of two schoolboys, one boy punches another boy in the head about six times before the beaten pupil falls down. After the fight, four learners come to the aid of the beaten boy and help him to his feet.
Lesufi feared the video might become a racism issue because one learner is white and the other is black.
“I’m very reluctant to use race and I’m also reluctant to enter the domain of who is right and who is wrong.”
Lesufi said the learners bumped into each after break and there was a “heated” verbal exchange.
At the start of the video, the beaten learner is holding a belt above his head.
Lesufi said according to preliminary information “the victim was the one that first attacked.”
“The report says the victim took the belt off prior to the video being taken.”
The school has set down a disciplinary hearing for Thursday, January 31.
"We need to get to the source of the fight,” Lesufi said.
If the learners were found guilty after the hearing, “they must find space somewhere, not in our schools in Gauteng," said Lesufi. "We can’t transfer one problem to another school. We are very firm. We are not denying them their rights.”
Lesufi met with school principal André Ferreira, who told him violence was rare at the school. In November last year, two girls fought outside the school grounds.
The MEC was also going to visit General Smuts High School in Vereeniging on Friday, where a learner was suspended after a video surfaced on social media. In it, one learner is seen beating another pupil inside a classroom. Lesufi said the Vereeniging pupil would appear before the department’s disciplinary committee on Thursday.
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