The National Prosecuting Authority says bullying has become rife not only in schools, but also in society.
The Deputy Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development, John Jeffery, and Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, Elaine Zungu, have led an anti-bullying march at the Durban beachfront.
The march is part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. Learners, parents, teachers and various NGOs who were part of the anti-bullying march carried placards calling for an end to bullying.
Among them were learners who have experienced bullying, including Phumelele Ntanzi, a Grade nine pupil who says she was bullied because of her acne.
“I have faced bullying. It was in my younger years. I used to have a lot of acne and people used to bully me because of my acne because some people didn’t have it, their skin was smooth. So I had to get into a lot of treatment to get it done and as much as yes it’s getting finished some people still bully me. How I would say I have conquered it, I just embraced myself, my inner beauty.”
Director of Public Prosecutions, Elaine Zungu, says bullying is not regarded as a criminal offence, however, victims can lay charges.
“We don’t have a criminal offence called bullying. But bullying comes out in other forms of criminal offences for example there will be an assault, a child will be bullied and then assaulted, then after it takes place it can be assault common, it can be assault GBH, it can also be crimen injuria so it will come out there then. We look at the motivation that caused that criminal offence which motivation can then be bullying.”
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