Eight-year-old Lebohang Makala returned home from school on Valentine’s Day, visibly in pain and with swollen legs.

When asked what happened, she told her mother that three boys at her school -Batsogile Primary School in Soweto, pounced on her and started hitting her while she was playing with her friends.

The boys beat her up for no reason when there were no teachers around.

According to her mother, Martha Makala, one of the boys used his fists to punch her in the head. The trio then threw her to the floor and kept hitting her while she laid helplessly on the ground.

After several sleepless and pain-filled nights, Lebohang was taken to a local hospital where she was examined and given pain medication.

Sadly, this was not enough as a week after the incidence, Lebohang Makala died in hospital from excessive internal bleeding.

When the news spread and it emerged that the school authorities did not report the incident, the Gauteng education department in Soweto immediately launched an investigation. The spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane told the South African Press Association;

‘This matter only came to our attention yesterday. An independent investigation has been instituted to investigate the circumstances around this incident.

We immediately dispatched a team to the school, as well as a team to assist with counseling for the mother of the deceased and the school. We are looking into why this matter was not reported to the Gauteng department of education head office.’

Apparently it wasn’t until Lebohang Makala died before her parents knew just how serious the case is and decided to table the matter to the police. A police spokesman explained that no case was reported to the police by the school before an investigation into the case was opened yesterday by the parents. Police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said;

‘We just got information that the child was injured in school. The circumstances of what transpired will be looked into.’

Batsogile Primary School in Soweto, Johannesburg where Lebohang Makala attended before her death