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A nine-year-old KwaZulu-Natal boy died in his classroom on Tuesday, in what may have been a game that went wrong.
The boy was found hanged at Georgedale Primary in Shezi Main Road in Mpumalanga township near Pinetown at lunchtime.
The head of department for education in KwaZulu-Natal Nkosinathi Sishi said on Tuesday night that it had happened in front of his classmates.
“He had a piece of string with a plastic end, similar to ones used in a raincoat. It was wound around his neck, through a desk and tied to a window,” he said.
Sishi, who was at the school all afternoon after the incident, said the other children had been unaware that their friend was in any distress when he disappeared under his desk.
“No one thought that anything had happened or was wrong when he didn’t reappear.”
When the boy was found he was still alive but battling to breathe. Teachers took him to a nearby hospital, but he died soon afterwards. His family were at the school on Tuesday.
Sishi thanked the local community for supporting the traumatised teachers and pupils.
Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said the incident happened at 12.25pm and no foul play was suspected.
A psychologist will be at the school to give counselling to pupils and teachers.