18 Years old Tlou had proposed to his underage girlfriend at Tholulwazi Secondary School in Tsakane Ekurhuleni, in front of cheering fellow pupils, with a R2000 ring which was just confiscated.
Tlou told Sowetan that they had been dating for eight months. He said he wanted to marry her because she had “changed” his life.
The Grade 11 pupil said marriage, however, was not on the cards for another two years.
“I paid R2000 for the ring. I bought it from Sterns. I had saved money for it,” Tlou said.
“I was surprised on September 18 just after lunch when they called us into the principal’s office, confiscated the ring and asked us to bring our parents the next day.”
The girlfriend said she, too, was worried that she was missing out on her schooling.
“When they took my ring at school, I wanted to cry. He asked me to marry him and make him the happiest man on earth. We are not going to get married now. We will get married after we both finish school,” she said.
The couple’s parents said they were elated by the proposal, however, they were worried by the pupils’ suspension.
Tlou’s grandfather Jacob Xaba said:
“Why is this relationship being turned into a crime? He must marry her. I will even give him my savings for lobola.”
The girl’s mother, Nomsa, said: “I am happy with the step these children are taking. Mduduzi is a good boy. I can’t think of a better son-in-law.”
Gauteng education spokesman Steve Mabona said the pupils acted indecently by kissing and touching in front of their schoolmates.
“Surely such behaviour will not be tolerated in our schooling environment. A school is an institution oflearning . The disciplinary process by the SGB . will pave a way forward.”
The pupils would be given a chance to write the tests missed, he said.