South African teen commits suicide after bullied by schoolgirl in viral video
Tenth-grader Lufuno Mavhunga reportedly overdosed on pills after video of her being slapped by a classmate went viral.
A teenager in South Africa reportedly took her own life after a video of her being bullied by schoolmates went viral.
“Lufuno was young, and we were expecting more from her. Her departure has hurt us a lot,” said Dakalo Mavhunga, the older brother of 15-year-old Lufuno Mavhunga, told The TimesLive, a South African news site.
The girl, a 10th-grade student from Mbilwi Secondary School, is seen being confronted by two other teens in the video. One of the girls signals to the other and then slaps Lufuno “countless” times.
According to the report, the girl was attacked last Monday after blocking her perpetrator on various social media sites for sending her threatening messages.
Police spokesperson Brig. Motlafela Mojapelo said Lufuno “reportedly went home in the afternoon and, on arrival, locked herself in the room and consumed an overdose of tablets. She was apparently found by her mother lying unconscious and was taken to Siloam Hospital, where she was certified dead on arrival.”
Her attacker, also 15, was arrested Wednesday and, according to police, will be prosecuted using South Africa’s Child Justice Act.
The deceased girl’s brother told The TimesLive that his sister’s name translated to “love,” and she aspired to become a doctor.
“She was a very peaceful person, and she had love, as her name suggests,” said Dakalo Mavhunga, 27. “She didn’t fight back when she was being slapped, she only tried to explain. But the girl didn’t even give her a chance.”
“As a family, all we want is for Lufuno to find justice from what she has faced,” said her grieving sibling. “Maybe after that her soul will rest in peace.”
Like many other young people around the world, teenagers in South Africa are struggling with depression and a sense of hopelessness amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic. A counselor native to the country noted that suicidal ideation and attempts in both boys and girls have increased in South Africa.
“Research shows that 23.6% of teens are struggling with feelings of hopelessness and sadness,” Cayley Jorgensen said, “which raises the question: Are we as a community doing enough to support teens?”