The case of a 14-year-old girl arrested in connection with the assault on schoolgirl Lufuno Mavhunga has been postponed to Thursday.
The teenager, who made her first court appearance on Friday, appeared again in the Thohoyandou children’s magistrate’s court on Tuesday for her bail application.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in Limpopo Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said the matter will be rolled over for a new presiding officer.
“The matter of a child in conflict with the law could not continue today in the Thohoyandou children‘s court,” she said.
“At this stage, the matter will be heard by a neutral chair to ensure a power balance between the interest of the state and the interest of the child. The previous magistrate knows the facts of the preliminary inquiry. The defence submitted an affidavit and closed its case. The State called the investigating officer who testified that the child is not safe outside. He has given some incident, of which I will not be able to divulge, and [he said] it is also for the best interest of the child to be kept at a youth care centre.”
“The case will be rolled over to April 22 to have a new presiding officer, and the docket should be referred to the office of the director of public prosecutions to receive the certificate.”
News of Mavhunga’s death made headlines after the 15-year-old took her own life by overdosing on pills last week just hours after being beaten by another pupil.
The alleged assault was captured on video and it showed Mavhunga, who did not retaliate, being manhandled and slapped across her face multiple times by a fellow Mbilwi Secondary School pupil.
Other children could be heard cheering in the background, News24 reported.
Two pupils from the Limpopo school were suspended in connection with the alleged assault.
News24 also reported Mavhunga later apparently committed suicide.
According to Limpopo police, after the incident, Mavhunga went home, locked herself in a room, and consumed a large number of pills.
She was rushed to hospital and declared dead on arrival.
The teenager was subsequently arrested and charged with assault.