Death jump on a dare

2010-06-09 00:00

A DURBAN schoolgirl plunged to her death yesterday from the third floor of her school building after she was allegedly dared to jump by her fellow pupils.

Anamika Singh (14), a grade eight pupil at Mount View Secondary in Verulam, north of Durban, sustained severe head injuries in the fall and was declared dead on the scene.

Netcare paramedics performed full advanced life support resuscitation, but could not save her.

When The Witness visited the school, teachers and parents were comforting Anamika’s friends and classmates, some of whom saw her jump.

Teachers could not contain their grief and were seen in the corridors weeping for their pupil.

Some pupils were aware that she had died, while others still thought that she had been seriously injured. A special school assembly was held to tell them she had died. Parents of those pupils who witnessed the incident were asked to take their children home.

Anamika’s father, Colonel Rabin Singh, a policeman based at Point police station, was inconsolable at the scene. He remained in the car park, a distance away from where her body was laid.

He said Anamika was a happy child who did not have any problems.

“This is the most difficult thing any parent has to bear. We are still shocked, but rallying together as a family,” he said.

He said the family are awaiting postmortem results so they can prepare for her funeral.

Ramesh Juggoo, a caretaker at the school, was one of the first people on the scene. He said that when he ran to the school building, he found Anamika’s body lying on the ground.

“I just got the shivers when I saw her body. I couldn’t move as I stood there. It has to be the saddest thing I have ever seen. She was just a little girl,” he said.

A classmate said Anamika was teased about being scared by several pupils who dared her to jump.

“She always got upset when they teased her about jumping. Her face would change when the teasing started,” he said.

He said pupils had been warned not to talk about the “dare” or the teasing.

Anamika’s friend, Natasha Govindsamy, described her as a loving, caring person, who was very active in school. She said she couldn’t believe she had lost her friend in such a horrific way.

“She loved to laugh and tell jokes. She had many friends. Everybody is so shocked to hear about this.

“She wouldn’t have committed suicide as she seemed like a logical person,” Natasha said.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said an inquest docket has been opened.

School principal J. Vardarajan and Pinetown school superintendent Selvan Chetty refused to comment and directed all media queries to the Education Department, but despite repeated attempts, spokespersons could not be reached.

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