A 17-year-old boy from the Dominican School for the Deaf in Hammanskraal died by suicide at the hostel after allegedly arguing with his teenage girlfriend. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
A 17-year-old boy from the Dominican School for the Deaf in Hammanskraal died by suicide at the hostel after allegedly arguing with his teenage girlfriend. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Pupil dies by suicide at school after lovers’ tiff with teenage girlfriend

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Apr 1, 2021

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Johannesburg - A 17-year-old boy from the Dominican School for the Deaf in Hammanskraal died by suicide at the hostel after allegedly arguing with his teenage girlfriend on Wednesday.

Gauteng Department of Education Panyaza Lesufi has expressed shock at the tragedy.

He said the pupil allegedly hanged himself after a lovers’ quarrel with a 17-year-old girl pupil from the same school.

“The boy learner had allegedly left other learners at the dining hall and went to the junior hostel, where he took his life.

“His body was discovered by fellow learners, who allegedly untied him and let him down before calling for assistance. Paramedics arrived within 10 minutes, but declared him dead on the scene.”

Lesufi said the department’s counsellors were sent to the school where they rendered necessary support and debriefing at the school to all those affected.

“It is very unfortunate that a learner decided to take his own life. This is a very sensitive issue to which we firstly wish to convey our deepest condolences to the family of the learner. We also wish to convey our sympathy to the school population for this loss,” said Lesufi.

The department stated that the boy’s teenage girlfriend is being given the necessary support.

Meanwhile, a Grade 12 pupil from a Soweto school also died on Wednesday after struggling to breathe while she was in the classroom.

The 18-year-old from Sekanontoane Secondary School was rushed to a nearby clinic and later to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

However, she did not make it and died later that afternoon.

According to Steve Mabona of the Gauteng Department of Education, the pupil arrived at school and attended her class that morning but suddenly ran out of the class as she was struggling to breathe.

Mabona said the principal called her parents as well as an ambulance.

However, the principal decided to urgently transport the pupil to a nearby clinic instead of waiting for the ambulance.

“The clinic staff tried to assist the learner, but they realised that she needed further medical treatment.

“She was then transferred to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for further medical attention. Unfortunately, she passed away in the afternoon.

Mabona said the department’s psychosocial unit was to visit the school on Thursday to provide necessary counselling to everyone affected by the incident.

Lesufi said he was saddened by the sudden death of the pupil.

“We would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family and wish that the school community can find the strength to overcome this loss,” he said.

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