Bullied teen commits suicide

2012-02-21 08:26
Johannesburg - A Grade 10 pupil at the Lethabong Secondary School in Soshanguve north of Pretoria killed himself in an apparent attempt to avoid school bullies, according to a report on Tuesday.

David Hlongwane, 16, had been beaten, repeatedly called names, and had to run to the school's staff room to avoid the onslaught by his peers, The Times newspaper reported.

On February 14, Hlongwane returned home with a letter for his parents requesting that they urgently go to the school the following day to discuss the bullying.

The bullies, including one who had previously been suspended for hitting a teacher, were asked to take the same letter home to their parents.

Favourite song

The next day, Hlongwane pretended to leave for school but instead returned home and hanged himself.

When his stepfather Sam Mabuza returned, he found Hlongwane hanging from the rafters, his favourite gospel song playing in the background.

"He was still breathing. I immediately cut the electric wire with a side cutter and quickly arranged transport to take him to the clinic. He was certified dead on arrival," said Mabuza.

A week later, the chairperson of the school's governing body said he did not know about the suicide.

The Gauteng department of education told the newspaper it would investigate the circumstances of Hlongwane's assault.

According to Gauteng's Childline director Lynne Cawood, bullying was on the increase, but it was difficult to prove as there was little research on the issue.

- Have you experienced school bullying? What can be done to prevent it? Send us your story.

- Childline's 24-hour number: 08000 55 555.
Read more on:    education

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the structure...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.