Hanged boy's family wants answers

2014-02-27 09:48
Songezo Ntola. (The Witness)

Songezo Ntola. (The Witness)

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Thobani Ngqulunga, The Witness

Durban - The family of a Grade 2 pupil who was rushed to a clinic after he allegedly hanged himself in front of his classmates still want answers about his death.

Songezo Ntola, 9, a pupil at Georgedale Primary, died in the arms of nurses at the Peacevale Clinic in Georgedale, Mpumalanga township in KwaZulu-Natal, according to family members.

It is believed that Songezo died after hanging himself with a cord from a jacket on the classroom window next to his desk.

Teacher absent

However, his grieving family want to know where the class teacher was at the time.

They say the teacher must have been out of the classroom for a very long time and that the tragedy could have been avoided had she been present.

His aunt, Mabusi Hadebe, said they had been given three different versions of where the teacher was. “We were first told she was in a meeting, then we were told she was in another classroom… and others said she was in the toilet,” said Hadebe.

She wanted to know which of these versions was the correct one.

Hadebe said they have still not received a report from the class teacher and that makes it difficult to believe their nephew would have simply hanged himself.

“Songezo could have easily stood and not be choked by the string from where he was found.”

Hadebe said they wanted a post-mortem done and a full investigation to be conducted for closure on the matter.

“We also want Songezo’s classmates to be questioned because it does not make sense that no one saw anything when there were pupils in the classroom during the incident,” she said.

'Bizarre'

His mother, Nokubonga Ntola, said she was in Bizana in the Eastern Cape where she lives when she was told her mother was sick in hospital, and when she rushed to KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday she learnt that her son had died.

“I still don’t believe the story of how my son died,” said Ntola.

She said what worries her most is that no one saw anything and that pupils who sit next him did not see him struggling. “That is the most bizarre thing I have ever heard,” she said.

Another of his aunts, Ntombifikile Velaphi, who was called to the school when the news broke, said: “Songezo was a good boy who enjoyed cleanliness. He washed all his blankets, cleaned all the rooms in the house and even the entire yard on Sunday.

"I am confused [about the accident] because he could not even tie his own shoe laces,” said Velaphi.

KwaZulu-Natal education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said they would like to let the family bury their child in peace. They did not want to be seen arguing in public while the child has not yet been buried, he said.

“What we understand is that the child died during play but we are investigating with the head of department. Dr Nkosinathi Sishi will be issuing a statement in the weeks to come,” said Mahlambi.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said foul play is not suspected at this stage. “Mpumalanga police are investigating an inquest,” said Naicker.

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