The Mpumalanga Department of Education has ordered the suspension of a pupil at Siftokotile Secondary School in Matsulu after a video of the pupil consuming what appears to be an alcoholic beverage in the class went viral.
The pupil is dressed in full school uniform in the video.
According to Gerald Sambo of the Department, it is unclear when the incident occurred.
“The Department takes a zero-tolerance approach to underage drinking and condemns this unacceptable behaviour that sets a bad example to other learners in the strongest terms possible.
“The Department has directed the school to submit a detailed report about the incident and to institute disciplinary proceedings against the learner concerned as a corrective measure in line with the South African Schools Act and the code for learners.”
Sambo adds that the Department would also send a team of officials to the school to assess the extent of the issue and advise the school’s governing board on how to deal with it.
“The Department urges community members to be vigilant of underage drinking and to report any concerns to the authorities.
“Parental intervention is sought in this instance to bring sanity and discipline to their children.
Underage drinking is a serious problem that can result in a variety of terrible consequences, including health and mental problems, physical injuries, unsafe sexual behaviour, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and academic difficulties.
“The Department will be monitoring the developments on this matter very closely and will provide the necessary updates as the process unfolds.”