The Mpumalanga Department of Education says it is disturbed and concerned about a bullying incident at Duvha Combined School in Emalahleni, which was captured on a video that has gone viral.
Spokesperson Gerald Sambo said the department had directed the school to institute disciplinary proceedings against the pupils who were captured assaulting another pupil. He said they breached the school code of conduct.
"Officials from the department will visit the school to render counselling to the victim and to those affected by the incident. The department condemns this incident in the strongest terms possible and will monitor the developments very closely," he said.
In the clip, three male pupils can be seen using their open hands to assault another male pupil. The victim is slapped countless times.
The incident took place on the school's premises as other learners watched.
Later, the victim is seen covering his face.
A woman posted the video on Twitter, claiming that the victim was her nephew. She cannot be identified in order to protect her nephew's identity.
In her tweet, she wrote: "My Nephew was Assaulted at his school Duvha Combine School Witbank and this bloody abuser is still not expelled from this school. Our Kids are being bullied day in day out how many kids is he still bullying since he is still roaming around."
She later asked the department to assist.
The woman claimed that, according to the principal, the incident happened on January 30. However, the victim only told his parents earlier this week when his mother became concerned about why her son made excuses whenever it was time to go to school.
Meanwhile, Sambo said bullying had far-reaching effects, especially for the victims, and could lead to low self-esteem, poor academic performance, absenteeism and many other challenges.
"We condemn it in the strongest terms possible and we call upon communities to join hands and assist in fighting the scourge of bullying. Learners must also cultivate patience and treat each other with respect," said Sambo.
News24 could not immediately reach the aunt.
The story will be updated with her comment once received.