School-based violence is arguably one of the greatest challenges facing learners in South Africa. Its ramifications go beyond the immediate physical or psychological harm that results from either direct or indirect victimisation. This study aims to give an insight into school-based violence in South African townships’ high schools. A qualitative case study approach was employed and by using a purposeful non-probability sampling method, a total of 37 participants including 24 learners, 5 educators and 8 community leaders were selected to take part in this study. The findings of the study indicate that the causes of school-based violence derive from internal and external factors related to the school. Furthermore, the findings show that school-based violence destructively affects learners’ education, their personality and their prospects for the future. It recommends that a holistic approach based on restorative justice principles is required to be implemented to prevent school-based violence in South Africa.
Keywords: School-based Violence, South Africa, Restorative Justice, High School, Learners