A probe is under way into allegations of bullying at a Gauteng school after a Grade 6 learner was found hanged at his home on Monday.
The Department of Education in Gauteng said the Khehlekile Primary School learner's body was found in the bathroom.
"Police are investigating circumstances surrounding the death of the learner. According to information at our disposal, the learner was found hanging at his family’s home.
“The Gauteng Department of Education can confirm that an internal investigation to probe allegations of bullying at school has been launched,” said Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chiloane.
The MEC expressed her sympathies to the boy's family and school community.
"Our thoughts are with them as we navigate this tragic loss together. We are committed to providing support to the family, learners, and school community at large during this challenging time," Chiloane said, adding that counselling teams will be deployed to the school.
Last month, the department outlined a project aimed at addressing the high rate of learner suicides in the province.
Chiloane said statistics show that there have been at least 40 alleged incidents of learner suicide since the start of the 2023 academic year.
"As the department, we are devastated by these deaths and believe those numbers constitute far too many young lives that have been taken away from their families, friends, and our schools before reaching their full potential. We pledge our solidarity and support to the families and friends that were befallen by these tragic, premature deaths," she said.
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.