Grade six learner Sibusiso Mbatha was found hanging in the bathroom at his home after he was allegedly told by a teacher to leave ‘gayism’ outside the school premises when its school time.
The Mbatha family has called for a further investigation on this matter for their son to get justice that he deserves.
“We implore the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the events leading up to our son's suicide,” the family said.
“We believe that only a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances surrounding this tragedy will help us find closure and hold those responsible accountable.”
Mbatha, from Khehlekile Primary School in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, was found dead at his home on Monday evening, after allegedly being bullied at school.
The 12-year-old took his own life at his home on Monday, after allegedly being bullied by one of the teachers at school over his sexual orientation.
It is alleged that the teacher told Mbatha to leave his “gayism” outside the school premises when it was school time.
The Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chilaone, said that he would appoint an independent law firm to investigate the circumstances surrounding the learner’s death.
Chilaone visited the home on Thursday to convey his condolences to the Mbatha family who had lost their child.
He said they were shattered by the incident but assured the family that they would get to the bottom of it and action would be taken immediately after the outcomes are known.
He mentioned that an internal investigation to probe allegations of bullying at school has been launched.
In a statement, the family said: “We acknowledge that conflicts among young people can occur, but we cannot ignore the alleged comments made by a teacher during the aftermath of this incident. It is said that our son was told to leave his "gayism" outside the school gate.”
The family condemned the behaviour and said that this kind of derogatory and discriminatory language was unacceptable and should never be tolerated within the walls of an educational institution.
They described the young Mbatha as a bright, loving, and intelligent boy with dreams and aspirations, whose life was filled with immense potential.
"His loss has left an irreplaceable void in our hearts, one that can never be filled,” the statement read.
However, the family said that this incident should be taken as an example that all children should be well treated and cared for.
"We believe it is our moral obligation, not only to Sibusiso Mbatha, but also to every child in our community, to seek justice and ensure that no other family has to endure such a tragedy," the family said.
Chilaone said the police were also investigating the matter, adding that the Psycho-Social Support process of providing necessary counselling started yesterday.
He said they will look closely into the matter.
* The SA Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) offers free counselling for learners and parents.
You can call Sadag to talk on behalf of a loved one, colleague, or friend. Trained counsellors are there to help and refer you to local counsellors, facilities, and support groups: 080 021 2223 (8am to 8pm) / 080 012 1314 (8pm to 8am) or SMS 31393.