Grade 8 pupil suspended for setting girl's hair on fire in class

In another bullying incident, a video has emerged of a Belgravia High School girl being taunted and having her hair set alight on Monday.
In another bullying incident, a video has emerged of a Belgravia High School girl being taunted and having her hair set alight on Monday.
Image: Screengrab

A grade 8 pupil who was filmed setting a classmate's hair on fire in Cape Town on Monday has been suspended.

The video, shared on social media, showed a girl sitting in class being taunted by a boy who poured liquid on her head. He then set her hair alight. The teacher appeared to have stepped out of class.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the department was aware of the viral video and had addressed the matter with the school in Athlone, Cape Town.

“The school immediately investigated and took action when the incident occurred. Both learners are in grade 8.

“The learner was suspended as a precautionary measure pending a disciplinary hearing. The school provided counselling and therapeutic support to the victim.

“The representative council of learners will embark on an anti-bullying campaign at the school.”

The issue of bullying has been highlighted in the country after last month's suicide of grade 10 pupil Lufuno Mavhunga after a video of her being assaulted went viral. 

The assault on Mavhunga, in which she was repeatedly slapped across the face, happened on the grounds of Mbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo.

Police told the Sunday Times the family handed the pupil accused of beating Mavhunga over to the police two days after Mavhunga told her parents and elder brother about the attack, then locked herself in her room and took an overdose.

She was found dead by her mother.

The bully, a 14-year-old girl, is facing assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm charges. The case is remanded to May 27 for further investigation.

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