Mom of teen found dead in Dobsonville veld suspects suicide

2014-02-19 15:54

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The mother of one of the two teenage girls found dead this morning in an open veld in Dobsonville Extension 2, Soweto, believes they might have killed themselves.

Pheliswa Rhathazwayo said the two, who were inseparable, attempted suicide last year by slitting their wrists. She said she suspected an argument over a proposal for her to adopt one of the girls – who was an orphan – may have been the last straw.

However, police could not confirm nor rule out the possibility that Chwayitha Rhathazwayo (15) and Thandeka Moganetsi (14) had committed suicide.

Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela confirmed that a razor blade – and its wrapper – had been found on the crime scene near the pair’s school bags.

He said: “It is difficult to say what the cause of death is at this stage because the autopsy has not yet been conducted.”

Rhathazwayo and her mother had a heated argument yesterday before she went to school over the proposal to adopt Moganetsi.

Pheliswa told her she could not afford to take her friend in as she was already struggling but her daughter would not hear of it, saying her friend was treated badly by family members.

Moganetsi also threatened to commit suicide last month. She wrote a letter telling her grandmother that she wanted to go and live with her deceased father’s family in KwaZulu-Natal.

Her grandmother, Elizabeth Putsanyani, said she dismissed the letter as an attention-seeking stunt.

Putsanyani said: “Thandeka was a very troubled and stubborn child. When she wrote that letter I thought she was just trying to make me feel bad and never paid much attention to it.”

Despite the letter, which the 14-year-old wrote just weeks before her death, Putsanyani said she was not sure if she had killed herself or if somebody had killed her.

“I didn’t even know that she had attempted suicide last year. Chwayitha’s mother only told me about it today,” she said.

Rhathazwayo and Moganetsi were found dead by a hunter around 8am. The man, who lives in a nearby informal settlement in Snake Park, found their bodies lying a metre apart. He alerted Cynthia Mbandla, the wife of a former police officer, to what he had discovered.

Mbandla said she found one of the girls lying face down, still in her full school uniform.

“The other was lying on her back wearing a white school shirt, leggings and white socks without shoes. Their school bags were lying close to them,” she said.

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