EDITORIAL | The adults failed Lufuno twice

Ideas

EDITORIAL | The adults failed Lufuno twice

It is not enough to suspend the pupils involved in the bullying. Real changes must be made

Editorial

Dakalo Mavhunga, the elder brother of Lufuno Mavhunga, the teenager who committed suicide after being bullied at school, went straight to the heart of the tragedy when he spoke about his sister this week. “We know some of you may say we just have to celebrate her life. It’s not that easy, because she was just a girl of 15 years.” His words encapsulate the tragedy - she died too young, and her last days on Earth were filled with terror and abuse. What is there to celebrate?

Lufuno overdosed on pills just hours after being beaten by a fellow pupil, punishment for daring to block her on WhatsApp and Facebook. This was Lufuno’s desperate attempt at dealing with insulting messages from the bully. She tried, on her own. But instead of backing down, her perpetrator sought her out and beat her up.

Her friend Mukoma Tshinakahi bravely spoke at her memorial service at Mbilwi Secondary School in Vhembe, Limpopo, on Friday. “I was fuming when she cried in my lap and I couldn’t do anything. If only we had helped, maybe she would have still been here today.”..

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