The bail application of the 14-year-old minor who is accused of assaulting Lufuno Mavhunga has been postponed to next week. The Thohoyandou Children’s Court has set down Wednesday and Thursday for the hearing.
The Grade 10 learner from Mbilwi High School faces an assault charge with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm.
A video of the 14-year-old assaulting Mavhunga went viral on social media. Mavhunga later committed suicide.
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The bail application was conducted in-camera and lasted until the close of business on Thursday.
The prosecution is opposing the release of the minor back into the community due to safety reasons. An investigating officer in the case has given witness testimony, where he informed the court of an incident that may have threatened the safety of the minor.
The defence is arguing for the release of the learner into the care of her parents.
However, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says while investigations are still being conducted, it is too early to release the learner back into the community.
“The defence lawyer submitted their affidavit and closed its case and then the state called their investigating officer who testified that at this stage we cannot allow the child to be outside, to go back to the community because it is not safe. He has given some incident in which I will not be able to divulge what was happening. So far, we are going to hear the bail hearing again on the 28th until 29th of April 2021,” says NPA’s Provincial Spokesperson, Mashudu Malabi-Dzangi.
An activist with the ANC Youth League Lindokuhle Xulu believes the child must not be kept at a childcare centre.
“We must focus more on restorative justice. We cannot keep the child inside per se, because she did not necessarily kill. It was circumstantial. We also believe that the child is a victim of our failure at schools, because we do not have enough psychological institutions,” says Xulu.
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