‘The picture of what I saw won’t go away,’ says grieving mother

2009-09-09 00:00

“THE picture of what I saw won’t go away,” were the words of Nolwazi Dlamini to the KZN Education MEC Senzo Mchunu, who paid her a visit yesterday afternoon to show his sympathy after the death of her son.

Thirteen-year-old Nduduzo Phiwokuhle Qunu, known as Sna, hanged himself after learning that he would be sent back to Scottsville Primary, the school he attended before his death.

He had allegedly been experien­cing problems with his class teacher, but his mother, who had been to see the principal over the issue, thought the matter was being dealt with.

“By leaving my child there, I didn’t know that I was building a casket for him,” Dlamini told Mchunu.

She said she had her son while doing her third year at university and he had known every stage of her life.

“When I was sad or happy I could talk to him. He was very fond of me and we got along very well. He was like my brother. He was my strength and my pillar,” said Dlamini, who spoke candidly with the MEC.

“I used to tell him, when I died, he needed to take care of his sister. I ne­ver thought I would be burying him,” she added.

The family spent the past weekend celebrating Sna’s birthday at uShaka Marine World in Durban.

Dlamini told Mchunu, in a room full of education officials and counsellors, of her battle with time; fighting through an electrical cord around her son’s neck while trying to free him and the rush to get him to hospital.

Her four-year-old daughter disco­vered her brother hanging in a room in an outbuilding.

Mchunu told Dlamini he lost his nine-year-old son some time ago.

“I know exactly how you feel and can tell you it takes time to heal,” he said.

“We wanted to comfort you, though there is not much we can do now. But we wanted to tell you we are with you,” he added.

Dlamini maintains that racism is behind her son’s death, and admitted she sent his teacher an SMS blaming her.

Last Monday, she went to see school principal Bobby Nefdt to discuss her son’s problems and feelings. “I asked that he investigate, which is why I told Sna to give him a chance to handle the matter.”

The school is not allowed by the department to comment to the media on Dlamini’s allegation.

The Witness was told to direct queries to the ward manager, who also declined to comment.

A preliminary report on the incident has been handed to the department and will give direction to the full investigation expected to start today.

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