Lufuno Mavhunga's father says fake suicide rumour brings back pain of losing his daughter
The family of Lufuno Mavhunga, who died by suicide after allegedly being bullied at Mbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo, have been reminded of the pain of losing their daughter two years ago by false rumours circulating on social media.
The “fake news” claim shared this week is that her alleged bully died by suicide because of guilt.
“It brings back the sorrow, I don't know what the intention is of spreading that rumour about someone's child. I wouldn't wish this to happen to anyone,” Lufuno's father Joseph Mavhunga told TimesLIVE.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dismissed the rumours as untrue, as has the Real Man Foundation NPO which had been following the case.
Limpopo NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said police would have opened an inquest if there had been a suicide.
Itani Nenguda from the Real Man Foundation said he spoke to the office of the director of public prosecutions (DPP) in Limpopo and the police station commanders in Thohoyandou and Vuwani.
“I've asked the station commanders and there are no recorded inquests. While I was doing that, the office of the [director of] public prosecutions was investigating and checking with the stations. There is no record at [any] police station,” he said.
The news of Lufuno’s suicide shocked the nation two years ago and put the spotlight on school bullying. The 15-year-old took her own life after a video, showing her being repeatedly slapped by another pupil, went viral on social media. She overdosed on pills.
The alleged perpetrator, then 14, was charged with assault.
The family recently learnt the case was provisionally struck off the court roll and referred to the DPP for a decision.
“For now it seems the case will go back to court, but we are waiting for official information from the police,” Mavhunga said.
Nenguda said: “We are waiting to find out when the case will go back to court because the docket went to the DPP in the region and is back in Thohoyandou.”
Mavhunga said their lives have been changed by their loss.
“Her mother has been on antidepressants since the death of our daughter. It is painful because you always remember. Even now with this information circulating on social media, it reminds us of the tragic incident.”
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