August 03, 2023

Bully forces fellow learner to drink poison

The parents of Brian Ndlovu want answers after their son was poisoned while being bullied at Queens High School, Kensington
Picture: Supplied

Parents and community members protested outside Queens High School in Kensington, Johannesburg after a Grade nine learner was allegedly poisoned by a bully from the school. The learner Brian Ndlovu died on Monday at a clinic in Johannesburg.




Brians’s parents, Charles Ndlovu (50) and Mildred Ndlovu (44) tell ZiMoja that on the morning of his death, Brian left home for school in tip-top shape. "He left the house at 6:45 as usual; he jumped into his transport, driven by one of his teachers," Mildred says. "He spent the whole day at school and came back home at around 4 pm. He was dragging his feet when he returned, which looked strange, but he said he was feeling tired. He ate his lunch and jumped onto his bed. He slept and when his father came back from work, he woke him up around 6 pm because he had received a call from the principal saying that Brian had slapped someone." Mildred says, Brian told them that he slapped the child because he was defending himself from a bully. "He said, he was just trying to fight back because the child is always bullying him and no one wants to take his side, because the boy comes from a rich family. His father sponsors the school and no one is willing to listen to him. He said if he told us, he knew that I would go to the school and lay a complaint which meant he getting even more bullied."




Mildred says that on the same day, they confronted Brian about slapping a learner but he felt sick. He had confided in his neighbour before his parents came. "He told the neighbour that there were four boys at school who had been bullying him and one of them made him drink poison," Mildred says. "Brian complained about feeling a bit sick but he was scared to tell us," she says. "We were meant to go to the school on Tuesday to address the matter but at around 7pm on Monday, I noticed him sitting down, he was wearing two jackets and I asked him why he was sweating, he said his tummy was sore. He sat on the carpet and removed his socks. He said, ‘I’m burning, mama please give me milk now, my tummy is sore. Mama! today they bullied me and forced me to drink poison.’" Mildred says she gave him milk. "He couldn’t take the milk; he was throwing up. We rushed him to Hillbrow Clinic. On his way, I could tell he was in pain and breathing heavily. The clinic did all they could, CPR, squeezed him onto the bed, put him on oxygen, and in less than 15 minutes of trying their best, the doctor disclosed that he was no more," Mildred sighs.




Parents handed over a memorandum to the Gauteng Department of Education to have the alleged school bullies suspended. They asked for anti-bullying campaigns to be set in place, at the school and they asked that children get an opportunity to voice their concerns. Parents say that children within the school are traumatised due to ongoing bullying at Queens High School. They also asked that the principal look into possible corruption at the school due to teachers allegedly demanding money from children for extra mural activities. The Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona says teams will be despatched to the school. "We have sent out our investigating teams to find out what transpired at the school and will be handling the matter with urgency," he said.




This is not the first time; Queens High makes headlines for the wrong reasons in the past. In 2020, a pupil (14) was kidnapped outside the school. The child was later found at Maponya Mall after alleged kidnappers demanded R500,000 in ransom. The Gauteng Department of Education said the circumstances around the boy’s return were not clear. After the police interrogated a friend and the Uber driver who transported the children, he said, "He just called me and said that I must come and fetch this boy, he’s going to meet someone at Maponya Mall." The family was relieved that the teenager was not harmed.

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