Donatien Ngonefi, the father of Donette Ngonefi, said: “My daughter is a class monitor and was told by the teacher to look after the learners.
“She did nothing wrong. They started mocking her, and saying she’s a foreigner.”
Ngonefi said his daughter had complained to the principal about being bullied and verbally abused, but nothing was done.
“Donette was first in Groote Schuur Hospital, then over the weekend she started complaining that she wasn’t feeling well, so we took her to the Karl Bremer Hospital,” he said.
Donette suffered multiple injuries, including abdominal injuries.
The family has received support from the Congolese Civil Society in South Africa, and are planning to take the school and the pupils to court, reports the Cape Argus.
The society’s chairperson, Isaiah Mombilo, said: “We have been in consultation with lawyers because this is an assault. If we don’t do something quickly, our children will be targeted by this type of (xenophobic) violence.”
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond, said the disciplinary hearing has yet to be scheduled, as the exams and the investigation have delayed the process.
She says the deputy principal has been in contact with all the parties involved, meetings were held and statements taken.
“The victim had indicated previously that she was finding the role difficult, but when offered a replacement she indicated that she would like to continue,” Hammond added.