Missing teen girl found dead at Northgate mall

2015-08-12 09:09


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SA has world's 8th highest suicide rate with 23 deaths a day

2015-08-12 08:30

Suicide is South Africa's third biggest cause of unnatural deaths after murder and motor vehicle accidents, according to this expert. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - A few hours after a message went out on Facebook that a 14-year-old girl from the German school in Westcliff had gone missing, she was found dead.

Gauteng police would only confirm that she fell to her death at the Northgate mall, north of Johannesburg, but a Facebook post by her aunt alluded to suicide, and a local newspaper also reported it was suicide.

"Yesterday, she went to school normally and then she never came back. The mother went to a police station to report her as missing. Then later yesterday she was found at the Northgate mall. Apparently she fell from the top floor," said Major Mack Mngomezulu on Wednesday morning.

Her body was found between 19:00 and 20:00.

"She was still in her school clothes with her school bag. An inquest docket has been opened," said Mngomezulu.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning Klara Göttert's family confirmed that she had died.

Her mother, Liesl Göttert, told community newspaper the Rosebank Killarney Gazette that she committed suicide.

“There are no words to describe what our family is going through right now... My daughter took her own life," she was quoted as saying.

'The darkest day'

"My beautiful niece, Klara Lynette Göttert, died today. It was the darkest day that we have ever experienced and we are going to miss that gentle, loving soul of hers so very much. Life became too much for her and it seems that she couldn’t see a way out," her aunt Yolande de Klerk posted on Facebook.

"It is a very difficult time and we appreciate your prayers, thoughts and love."

Klara's mother only posted: "My daughter Klara (14) died tonight".

On Tuesday night, a photo of the teenager went viral on the Facebook after she had not returned from school, with a post saying: "My friend, Liesl Göttert's 14-year-old daughter, Klara Gottert, didn't come home after school today (Tuesday, 11 August 2015). They are looking for her as speak... Please share even if you don't know them." Another similar message said, "They live in Westcliff, Johannesburg and she is still not home", accompanied with a picture of the girl, a description of her and her parents' contact details.

She was a pupil at the German school in Westcliff.

A family friend, Cornelius Koopman, told News24 on Tuesday night that the family had contacted the police.

Other suicides

Earlier this month, Welkom Technical High School pupil Charlie Brown committed suicide.

Apparently, the school’s management made the Grade 11 pupil apologise in front of the assembly on 24 July for copying during the June exam, Express reported.

Allegedly distressed by the punishment and widespread mockery on social networking sites following the public apology, the 17-year-old hanged himself in the garage of his parents’ home in Oppenheimer Park, Thabong in Welkom.

Last month, Louw Geldenhuys Primary school Grade 6 pupil Anneke Mostert also committed suicide, according to Netwerk24.

According to the report, the 12-year-old took her dad's .38-revolver and shot herself.

She had written nine letters describing how she was depressed and how the "cool group" had called her ugly and fat.

- Health24: SA teens: High suicide risk

- Health24: Teen suicide: recognise the warning signs

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