Jonathan Erasmus, The Witness
Durban - Police in KwaZulu-Natal have denied reports that five matriculants committed suicide after failing the 2013 Senior National Certificate.
Rumours that five matriculants were found hanged in Gandhi Park in Phoenix, Durban, began circulating just hours after the results were released nationally.
The rumours were circulated on Facebook and BBM on Tuesday, resulting in a massive outpouring of grief.
The message said: “More sad news. Five matriculants found hanging in Gandhi Park in Phoenix a few hours ago after finding out they did not pass matric. Sources say that the bodies all had apology notes in their pockets. Please to all those that did not make it remember you can still rewrite and pass.”
Despite its being false, the message quickly gained traction on social networks, being reposted by civic community organisations as far as the Western Cape.
Messages of condolence included people asking parents to “watch your kids and be there for them”. But a number of people questioned the credibility of the mass suicide news.
Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the Phoenix police station confirmed it was a rumour.
“There are various versions of the story doing the rounds. According to the station no such incident has been reported,” said Zwane.