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Strangled boy’s family demand answers

Durban -

The family of the 9-year-old KwaZulu-Natal boy who died in his classroom on Tuesday after choking himself with a cord from a raincoat are demanding to know the sequence of events that led to his death.

Nine-year-old Songezo Ntola, who was found strangled in his classroom at Georgedale Primary, Mpumalanga township, on Tuesday. Credit: THE MERCURY

Songezo Ntola, a Grade 2 pupil at Georgedale Primary in Shezi Main Road in Mpumalanga township, between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, died in hospital after he was found hanging from the cord that was wound through his desk and attached to a window.

His fellow pupils were in class when the incident took place, but his teacher was talking to a colleague outside.

Songezo’s aunt, Ntombifikile Velaphi, 35, who was called to the school when the incident happened, said: “I got a call asking me to rush to the school. When I got there I was told he had already been rushed to the nearby Peaceville Clinic where he died.”

She said the principal explained to her what had happened, but she said: “It doesn’t make sense.

“From what I was saw, there were no signs of a struggle where he was seated. I’ve never seen a scene of a suicide, but surely signs of a struggle should be there.”

Velaphi said she was shown the raincoat cord with which Songezo had apparently hanged himself.

“He was quite tall and we don’t understand how he could have hung himself from that position,” she said.

Songezo’s mother, Nokubonga Ntola, 28, who came from Bizana after the tragedy, said “someone must explain” what happened.

Education Department spokesman Bhekisisa Mncube said: “Suicide cases and inquests are dealt with by the police. Once a pupil has been confirmed dead, they must decide what caused the death… at this stage, this is unknown. We can’t interfere.”

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