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15 year old learner Lufuno Mavhunga commits suicide after she was bullied and called ugly

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A child learner named Lufuno Mavhunga in high school committed suicide yesterday after she was beaten and humiliated and called ugly for being black because she is dark-skinned.

This has now led to Deputy Minister Dr Reginah Mhaule appealing to all teachers and pupils to report all acts of bullying and violence in and around schools.

Mhaule said such cases should be reported to the SAPS and pupils who are victims of bullying should contact Childline to talk to someone and report incidents of bullying.

On Monday, a video of the 15-year-old Mbilwi Secondary School pupil being attacked by a fellow pupil while others watched and took videos, went viral and sparked fury among many.

The video shows Lufuno being confronted by a fellow pupil before they are interrupted by another pupil who slaps her several times. The defenceless pupil, does not fight back but tries to reason with the pupil instead. In the background, other pupils are heard mocking or cheering on the perpetrator.

A second video of the same incident shows the two pupils being separated by a male pupil, but not before the pupil landed some more slaps and pulled the 15-year-old’s hair.

According to Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, the child arrived home from school and alleged that she was beaten up by the other pupil.

She thereafter allegedly locked herself up in the room and overdosed on pills.

Mojapelo said Lufuno’s mother found her unconscious in her bedroom and rushed her to the hospital where she died on arrival.

Registered counsellor, Cayley Jorgenson from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) said bullying in all forms is a huge problem among South African school-going children, which directly impacts the mental health of all pupils involved (victim, bystander and bullies).

“Over the last couple of months, I have noticed an increase in suicide ideation, suicide attempts by both girls and boys as well as an increase in bullying cases among teenagers. Research shows that 23.6% of teens are struggling with feelings of hopelessness and sadness which begs the question – are we as a community doing enough to support teens?

“It is really important from a community perspective that teens are encouraged to reach out for support if they are struggling. In my experience, teens hold onto their thoughts and emotions as they don’t want to burden their parents or teachers, and consequently their friends end up keeping these secrets out of fear of losing the friendship.

“We need to provide teens with a safe space to receive support and counselling as well as equip them with the knowledge and resources to get help and look after themselves. A spotlight needs to be put on bullying awareness programs and reporting systems need to be in place for teens to reach out without fear of judgement. We cannot focus solely on teenagers and children.

“Teachers need to be equipped with the knowledge of how to help teens and where they can access this help. Teachers need to be supported and have the knowledge to assist learners on mental health and the steps and procedures that needs to be followed with regards to bullying and suicide. It is my view that teachers are the first aid, when it comes to the mental health of learners and we therefore need to support the teachers who can create these safe spaces for learners to ask for help if they are struggling.”

Many South Africans took to Twitter to express their shock and sadness, and the hashtag #JusticeForLufuno has since been trending.

Some teachers took to Twitter as well, and are calling for corporal punishment to be reintroduced as teachers are powerless in these incidents and become victims themselves. While some believe the Department of Education has relinquished its responsibility as teachers are burdened with becoming social workers, police, doctors with a lousy salary, and others are saying that they are also victims of bullying having to teach a class of 40 pupils during a pandemic.

A lot of black people have been brainwashed into thinking that being black is ugly

In response to this Darlene Candy posted on Facebook

In case you thought you knew everything. yes, it is true. The final statement has been issued by the family, police and school. Yes, I did fight her as I regret it, but I didn’t murder her. No criminal record but a warning. So what were you all saying? Mr and Mrs Knowing it all. Your problem is that you are too quick to judge like your saints

Let it be known that she didn’t fight back. She apologized, after she was provoked on Facebook. She tried to talk it out and explain. Let it be on record, that this incident was premeditated. They planned a day before to beat her. Let it be known that fellow students stood cheering and laughing as she was being beaten. One day an apology won’t be enough. The words “I’m sorry” will be too late. Lufuno was ridiculed on Facebook, because someone thought she was ugly. She tried to explain that looks were not the only quality for beauty and someone called it a speech. May she be known as someone who was intelligent and a peacemaker. We heard you #Lufuno.

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Mzansi

Lucky Montana demand evidence, zondo commission advocate to recuse himself

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zuma

Lucky Montana has demanded that the evidence leader of the State Capture Commission, advocate Vas Soni, recuse himself from proceedings.

Soni has been cross-examining Montana in relation to his controversial tenure at the rail agency, as well as allegations that he used R36 million of its funds to purchase properties around Gauteng with lawyer Riaan van der Walt.

Montana’s questionable property purchases in lush suburbs have faced immense scrutiny, even outside of the commission and he has denied there was anything dubious behind them.

Advocate Soni grilled Montana about his business relationship with Van der Walt, the director of a company called Precise Trade. He also had links to Siyangena Technologies, a company which irregularly scored billions worth of contracts with Prasa. Both Montana and Van der Walt have enjoyed a rather profitable relationship, to say the least.

“Soni should recuse himself. He is showing signs of being biased. It is not in the interest of justice to continue like this. This narrative that Siyangena was given R4 million in contracts. The allegations were that it, for sure, made payments towards my properties through TTM Holdings,” Montana said.

“There is no Siyangena in any of the properties I have invested in. He is conflicted. He is so emotionally invested and passionate about this, because if I was not here, we were going to move from the basis that TTM paid Precise Trade. TTM did not pay Precise Trade”


It is alleged Montana used a shell company named Trade and Invest to purchase the houses through Van der Walt who has since left the country.

This isn’t the first time Montana has taken issue with Soni, having told the commission back in April that he is conflicted, having done work for Werksmans Attorneys.

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Mzansi

Thuso Mbedu Gushes About Working with Amazing American Director Barry Jenkins

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mbedu

Thuso Mbedu took to social media to gush about working with award-winning international director Barry Jenkins. The actress worked with the US director on the set of Amazon Prime series The Underground Railroad.

Thuso Mbedu gushed about working with amazing American director Barry Jenkins. Image: @thuso.mbedu Source: Instagram Thuso took to Instagram and shared that many people had asked her what it was like working with the Oscar award-winning Jenkins.

She then responded with a lengthy answer to the question on everyone’s lips. Along with snaps and vids of Jenkins she took while on set, Thuso said: “Working with Barry was amazing. It was one of the easiest things I’ve done. He makes it easy, man. It’s like having a conversation an easy, flowing, unforced conversation.

We all knew and understood what we’re working towards and, through collaboration, we were able to help each other get there.” She shared that Jenkins showed the cast what humanity looked like.

Thuso said Barry is also very kind, crazy and funny and so welcoming. The stunner expressed that Jenkins is also respectful of everyone. The Underground Railroad comes out on Friday, 14 May, said Thuso.

Thuso’s fans took to her comment section to react to her post. Check out some comments below: chesty’m said: “Exactly how I imagined him to be then.” dejadeetv wrote: “AGREED!!! He was/is AMAZING & Brilliant!”

Friday can’t get here sooner.” vilithuleka wrote: “I love your playful nature Thuso.” maps_mellisa_andy commented: “3rd frame had my heart jumping like yeessss go quuueeen.” ayisto_swazi added: “FRIDAY issssss a date!” In related news, Briefly News reported that Natasha Thahane has reacted to the news that Thuso Mbedu is set to star alongside US actress Viola Davis.

The Blood & Water actress took to social media and congratulated Thuso for bagging a role alongside one of America’s greatest actresses. Natasha took to Instagram on Thursday, 29 April and shared a screenshot of the article about Thuso’s good news.

She captioned her post: “What a MOMENT! @thuso.mbedu You are the MOMENT! I’m proud of you galingz, ninja! Continue to confidently receive God’s abundant blessings.

” The Underground Railroad actress also took to Natasha’s comment section to show her appreciation following the post. She replied: “Thanks galingz.” Instagram’s users took to Natasha’s timeline to react to her post. They also congratulated the talented Mzansi actress.

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Nelson Mandela’s grandson, TV presenter Mayibuye Mandela bashed by police

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mandela

Nelson Mandela’s great-grandson, television presenter and political activist Mayibuye Mandela, has opened a case of assault against the police, whom he claims beat him without provocation at the weekend.

Mandela, 27, told the Dispatch his legal team was writing to SA police minister Bheki Cele, national police commissioner Gen Khehla Sitole and provincial police commissioner Lt-gen Liziwe Ntshinga about his intention to sue the SAPS for police brutality.

He said he and two friends were driving in a bakkie on the gravel road from Mqhekezweni great place outside Mthatha at 8.30pm on Saturday when they were stopped by four police officers. “It was raining. They told us to get out of the vehicle as they wanted to search it.

“They ordered me to lie on my stomach face down in the dirt. I told them it was raining and I would get dirty. I asked if I could lean against the car so that they could do whatever they wanted to do.”

Mandela said one of them accused him of thinking he knew too much about the law.

“A policewoman and a policeman started beating me with a stick. They forced me down and I ended up sustaining bruises to my face as they put their boots on my head to suppress me.”

Mandela said his other two friends were slapped in the face by the two police officers. He said the attack on him lasted about five minutes. He said he had bruises on his back from being beaten with a stick.

One of his two companions was an older man who is a lawyer by profession. Mandela said all three had been ordered to lie flat on their stomachs.

“I kept on complaining and questioning why we should have to lie down. It’s not like they found anything wrong in the car.”

He said afterwards they had been ordered to get into their bakkie and “get out of here”.

Initially the trio wanted to drive directly to the Bityi police station but the police officers told them they would probably meet more police officers on the road.

So instead they drove to the lawyer’s home in Mqhekezweni, where they spent the night. He said he took pictures of his injuries before going to bed.

“I went to the doctor on Sunday and immediately after that I went to the Mthatha central police station to open a case but batshona bevela phaya [they were ducking and diving there]. They told me I had to go to Bityi but I told them I did not have a car to get there.”

He said he went to the Madeira police station and after being sent from pillar to post, eventually managed to open a case.

But he only received an SMS confirming the case number on Tuesday.

Sinaye Tywaku, 21, who is from Tsolo and had gone to attend an event at Mqhekezweni, was Mandela’s other companion at the time of the incident.

He said he had been beaten with a stick on his knee by the police officers.

“I can’t straighten my knee even now,” he told the Dispatch on Tuesday.

He said the trio had not done anything to provoke the police. He had also been ordered to lie down on his stomach.

Tywaku said he was trying to open his own assault case against the police.

Mandela said acts of police brutality had no place in a new and democratic SA.

“I am still in shock. It is not because of my surname that I am doing this [laying charges]. It is because police need to understand that in this day and age, police brutality cannot be tolerated.”

The Johannesburg-based Mandela presents a political programme on Mpumalanga Broadcasting TV.

He described the officers’ actions as reminiscent of the apartheid regime.

He also accused the cops of copying the brutal Americanstyle policing that led to the death of George Floyd.

Floyd died in Minneapolis, Minnesota after police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine and half minutes.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Tembinkosi Kinana confirmed on Tuesday that a case of assault had been opened at Bityi police station.

He said the Independent Police Investigations Directorate would take over the investigation and declined to comment further.

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