School bullying causes clashes between villages

By Celani Sikhakhane

The bullying of learners in rural KwaZulu-Natal schools has led to inter-village and inter-clan clashes.

Children are often bullied because they may come from a different village or clan than others at a school. 

In Nongoma, bullying incidents at kwaDenge High School resulted in a faction fight between communities from different villages.

Some parents were said to be camping outside the school with guns and spears. 

In 2019, Sahlumbe High School in Weenen was turned into a battleground as people from different villages clashed after a fight was started by students because of a bullying incident.

In Nkandla, some people no longer slept at their homes for a period because of a faction fight that resulted after a bullying incident at a local school.

These incidents have forced local municipalities to join hands with the province’s education department to fight the problem.

On Thursday, the Umfolozi Municipality in northern KZN told high school students that the bullying had to stop because it resulted in learners dropping out of school.

Umfolozi mayor Xolani Bhengu said the municipality is planning to launch campaigns to help children fight bullying. 

“Mostly female students are affected by bullying. They end up dropping out of school or even committing suicide. We need to fight this crisis to bring peace to our schools,” said Bhengu.

Learners are bullied for various reasons, ranging from their character or sexual orientation, to the clan or village they come from.

Bullying incidents caused the expulsion of five pupils from a school in Umlazi, Durban, in 2022.

In 2021, Limpopo pupil Lifuno Mavhunga committed suicide after a video of her being bullied was circulated on social media.

Pictured above: From left, IFP Youth Brigade KZN chairperson Mncedisi Maphisa, Welabasha High matric student Sbusisiwe Msane, and Umfolozi mayor Xolani Bhengu.

Image source: Supplied 

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