A KwaDabeka pupil reportedly committed suicide just days before the start of the school year by hanging herself from a tree outside her home, using an ANC robe, allegedly because friends were teasing her.
Gugulethu Gumede, a pupil at Sithokozile Secondary School in KwaDabeka, near Pinetown, was to repeat Grade 11 this year after she failed maths and two other subjects.
On Monday afternoon, Gugulethu’s mother, Ntombifuthi Khumalo, found her daughter’s body hanging from a tree at their home when she returned from work.
Khumalo said she arrived home to find a pot of water boiling and beans scattered on a chopping board, suggesting her daughter had been preparing supper.
She saw a shadow in the yard, thinking it was a black dustbin bag. But when she came closer, she realised it was her daughter hanging from the tree by an ANC robe bearing the image of President Jacob Zuma.
Gugulethu had left no note suggesting the reasons for her suicide. “She was unhappy about not passing at school last year, even more so because her brother, Mzomuhle, was in the same class but he passed,” her mother said.
Khumalo said Gugulethu wanted to drop out of school.
She said she had been the subject of gossip claiming she was going to marry off her child to an elder of the Shembe Nazareth Baptist Church.
“Why would I want my child who is so young to marry an old man? I have two married daughters, and other children who are at university,” said the angry mother.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said an inquest docket had been opened.