Sex bribe ends in learner’s suicide

By Drum Digital
02 February 2011

IT’S a bright sunny day but the atmosphere inside the small, stiflingly hot tin and brick house is oppressive. The Ramavhoya family is consumed with grief after the suicide of their sister and daughter, who allegedly took her life because she refused to trade sex or money for a pass mark at school. It’s the third time in less than a year that mother Mavis Maruba (52) is burying a loved one.

Trish Ramavhoya, a pupil at nearby Vezilwazi Secondary School in Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga, north west of Pretoria, killed herself by drinking poison on her 18th birthday, just a few days after learning she’d failed Grade 11.

The scandal rocked the Mpumalanga education department and officials shut down the school. Thirteen teachers and the principal were suspended and the department cancelled all reports, ordering the remarking of exam papers so that new, valid reports could be issued to pupils.

The school is now open again with a new principal at the helm and a new set of teachers in the classrooms – but all of is too late for Trish and her family.

Read the article in the Drum of 10 February 2011 – and share your views below.

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