File picture

Johannesburg - The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) in Gauteng has threatened to petrol-bomb the offices of newspapers that publish successful matriculants this year.

Cosas claims that the public release of the student numbers of Grade 12 learners who have passed was a “suicidal act” and reiterated its condemnation of the public release of results.

This call comes as the country awaits release of the 2017 matric results this week.

In a strongly worded statement attributed to Cosas provincial chairperson Wandile Mofokeng and provincial secretary Sibusiso Sithole, Cosas asserted that the public release of results in newspapers adversely affected learners’ confidence.

“Since the dawn of this suicidal act (public release of results), the future of this country was under threat. Students continually lose confidence in themselves, particularly if they did not appear in these papers. Most of the times there are errors done by these papers that can cost someone’s life,” the organisation contended.

Cosas, a student movement representing basic education pupils and formed in the 1970s, said it would boycott the process of the matric results in Gauteng if the provincial Department of Education continued giving newspapers the student numbers and names of learners who have passed.

“We are going to prepare our petrol bombs and burn these papers that cause a lot of depression and suicide to our constituency,” the body warned.

“We also advise students to go fetch their academic statements at their schools, as this is the only reliable paper we can trust. Students must not waste their time waking up very early for newspapers that are suicidal,” it added.

Melanie Hamaty, a clinical psychologist from PsychMatters Family Therapy Centre in Bedfordview, Ekurhuleni, said that suicide was "attendant to the stressful period shortly before and after the release of matric results".

“Anxiety, fear and stress are associated with this time. It is during this time that there is an increase of suicide by matriculants who may have failed."

The Star