Student dies after 'botched abortion'

2012-03-19 09:09

Johannesburg - An illegal abortion which went wrong is believed to have caused the death of a second-year student at a University of Johannesburg (UJ) hostel over the weekend.

Ayanda Masondo, 20, a student in human resources from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, was found at about 09:30 on Sunday morning, apparently leaning against the door in her room in the Benjemijn hostel.

Her body was apparently already cold by the time paramedics arrived.

Brixton police spokesperson Constable Michael Kgatle said a post-mortem would be held.

“At this stage it would appear as if an illegal abortion was the cause of her death. There was a lot of blood on the scene. The investigation will provide more clarity.”


Her body was removed from the hostel on Sunday afternoon.

UJ registrar Professor Marie Muller confirmed that suicide was not being investigated as a cause of death.

Campus security prohibited visits to the hostel on Sunday morning and groups of students congregated outside the hostel. Students were told not to speak to the media after several students expressed their shock on Twitter.

Masondo’s friends said she was a quiet girl. She had felt sick a week or so before her sudden death. “The girls in the hostel are still emotional and very shocked,” said a friend.

“We are in our semester exam period. Most students are writing tests on Tuesday and what happened is making it difficult for everyone, especially those who were closest to Ayanda.

“A few days ago I wished her happy birthday. It’s really very tough.”

- This is the second time in three years that a resident of Benjemijn has died in her hostel room. In 2009 Shandré van Tonder, 18, was found dead in her bed.

  • Rob - 2012-03-19 09:19

    Illegal abortion ? I thought abortions were legal ( & very neccessary ) in South Africa today & were carried out @ most state hospitals. Why the " backstreet route ? " Tragic nevertheless & condolances.

      Skuiter - 2012-03-19 09:29

      money most likely...

      Deirdre - 2012-03-19 09:33

      They are legal, but illegal ones are easier to get,no counselling etc. Why was she pregnant in the first place when contraception is free?? Unfortunately it is the view of the authorities that sex outside of a long term relationship is ok so long as you use a condom... I feel for her parents who now have to deal with this!

      barry.mcbride - 2012-03-19 09:38

      It is illegal if performed without experts in a hospital or clinic, etc.

      Graham - 2012-03-19 09:38

      Hi Rob, Only legal if carried out during the first 13 weeks unless there are extenuating circumsatnces. (then 20 weeks)

      Rob - 2012-03-19 09:44

      Graham. Thanks for that. Might explain it.

      LindiBleu - 2012-03-19 09:46

      although it is legal, there are a number of nurses who refuse to perform it on religious, moral grounds. so there might be a backlog so that by the time you get a date, you are past the 12 week mark and unless there is a medical reason, abortions are not performed past this time. coupled with the abuse these young girls get at hospitals, whether for contraception or for abortions, the emotional trauma is usually worse than the physical trauma. and there is no counselling. trust me on that one. Marie Stopes is the only route.

      Deon - 2012-03-19 10:28

      12 weeks is the cut off date.

      Bibi - 2012-03-19 15:18

      There are however many illegal, unregistered abortion clinics around who does it cheaply and use dirty equipment. These poor girls will get infected regardless of which trimester they are in.

      kitsykatsy - 2012-03-19 22:56

      Rob, sadly i think the backstreet route as quoted by you, is the one chosen by many. Total privacy i think being the number 1 option. I am probably wrong but i doubt it ... would you not have to be seen by a doctor, have all your details taken, etc., and then have to wait "in line" at a state hospital ? Just so sad.

      Pierre - 2012-03-20 06:53

      @ Fafrican - it is sad that this kind of thing still happens, but unfortunately it is often parents and close family or community that drive young women to these extremes in getting an illegal abortion.

  • Mashudu - 2012-03-19 09:27


  • Angelo - 2012-03-19 09:40

    VERY SAD ....I Think its time Black communities stop demonising Pregnancy and start dealing with reality that sex happens and when you dont use protection you will bear fruits of the loirn .....Only thing she was trying to do was to be good in her family eyes ....she probably died alone in pain confused and scared and hurting

      Malibongwe Masango - 2012-03-19 09:49

      Very true and parents often put so much pressure to students(children) to do good no matter what. In the process they undermine very basic things like \how are you? Is everything okay? And most importantly they do not visit their children often just to if everything is okay beside call confirmation. I'm not suggesting that the above are reasons for what happened to her whatsoever.

      Nosiphom - 2012-03-19 10:34

      Angelo, we are not demonising pregnancy. The fact is as a varsity student you are there to learn primarily. That you might meet someone you love and decide to have sex is reality, however in 2012, in the days of aids, etc. we expect students to practice safe sex, all the tiem, even when they have both tested negative. A child is a responsibility and if you do not have the means to care of it, rather don't have it. It is not about being good in front of the parents. She knew that it was her responsibility and she was not ready for it, hence the decision she took. That it went bad because of reasons we do not know is a pity. That we put pressure on our children to do good academically is true, we do so because we want them to be independent adults in the future.

      Vusi - 2012-03-19 11:17

      I don't know about demonising pregnancy in our comm. cuz if u are a black person u should know someone with three kids by three different guys, and that having a child @ teen age like fashion these days. A person to b blame here is the boy who got her preg,he had lot of options if u know what I mean. It's time black men take responsibilities for their actions.

      Barefoot - 2012-03-19 12:33

      From blaming the black community to blaming the black men what's next? oh by the way people have abortions black and white mostly teenagers, why? many reasons mostly because they feel they have shamed their parents not ready for responsibility

      Bibi - 2012-03-19 15:16

      @Vusi: contraception is the responsibility of both willing partners. When either one does not want to use contraception - say NO!

      bruce.wells.963 - 2012-08-21 13:29

      You are so right. Preaching abstinence and scare tactics have never worked. It did not work in the 60ties when I was a teenager. Then girls would suddenly disappear from school, all was hush hush, but we all knew anyway. Education in contraception from school or parents was non-existent. You weren't supposed to do these things. Parents just did not accept their teenagers had hormones, and if they had been going out together for 3-4 years these hormones could take over, nor did they tell their children that this could happen. Contraception was not allowed because it would encourage sexual activity. Not having it did not stop it though!

  • Malibongwe Masango - 2012-03-19 09:43

    To us as the SRC incidents like this continue to shock us as we have structures in place with professional personnel to assist with what ever professional help a student may need. Professional Counselors are available free of charge to any campus clinic in four university campuses.\r\n\r\nLet's love ourselves enough to talk about our problems to relevant people in time.! \r\n\r\nOne lost soul is more than enough, LET IT STOP!

  • Schmee - 2012-03-19 09:50

    Interesting. Whenever a company tells its staff not to talk to the press then we know there is something that the company is trying to hide. Hope some journalist sniffs things out at UJ.

      chrislyn.allan - 2012-03-19 11:29

      or maybe it is because the staff and fellow students do not know anything about what happened as the autopsy has NOT been released yet!!! plus thats how rumours start. well done for having no respect and for being so insensitive. the poor girl is not here to defend her honour. Maybe we should ALL wait to find out what really happened before jumping to conclusions.

      ferialm - 2012-03-19 14:56

      Or they are trying to save her and her family the indignity of rumour and speculation... and handle the matter in the most responsible and respectable way possible... who knows.. you certainly don't

  • nonceba.motsisi - 2012-03-19 09:53

    May her soul rest in peace. My condolences to her family.

  • janine.arulnathan - 2012-03-19 09:58

    Whether it was right or wrong, it all around remains a very,very sad and heartbreaking story...In her last hours she was most probably too confused and terrified to seek medical help because of the fact that she would probably be judged. This should be a eye opener for those who judge too harshly before attempting to understand the next person.

      charmaine.pauwels - 2012-03-19 11:44

      Well said Janine. May she rest in peace. My heart goes out to her family

  • brionyl.french - 2012-03-19 10:03

    Um why did we legalise abortion if these illegal operators are still about? Surely this had be erradicated when legalising this. Sad day, if you dont want your children then maybe you shouldnt have sex or go to a credited docter. Mary Stopes

      koo.doyle - 2012-03-19 10:31

      You make the assumption that everyone can afford the legal route? I think you would HAVE to be pretty desperate to go the illegal route. We have NO idea what her circumstances are. And its doctor btw.

      Merven - 2012-03-19 12:15

      Or maybe she was past the 'cut off time' for and abortion? It would help if the article state how many weeks or months she was pregnant.

      Irma - 2012-03-19 12:57

      The legal route is very expensive, thousands of rands. Not everyone has the money. It's not women like her that should be punished for going to illegal places- it's the "doctors" advertising these abortions that should be held accountable!

      Megan - 2012-03-19 16:32

      It certainly does not cost THOUSANDS of rands to have an abortion. Any medical procedure done at a state facility is charged according to what the patient can afford...

      Deon - 2012-03-19 17:03

      I agree with Megan, a student will pay close to nothing for this at a state fascility.

  • Marion - 2012-03-19 10:04

    It is believed that it was an illegal abortion. Perhaps the poor girl just hemorrhaged due to other problems. Whatever, may she RIP.

  • MandyDbn - 2012-03-19 10:04

    Shame, poor girl. Its such a pity that she resorted to an illegal abortion when are there a clinics, such as Marie Stopes that will do it safely. Whether we approve of abortion or not, its not our place to judge why people do it.

      Marion - 2012-03-19 10:11

      MandyDbn - I agree with you. Unfortunately Marie Stopes do not offer free abortions and many people cannot afford the fee and, as someone else said, staff at the government hospitals are not exactly kind to women who want to have abortions.

      Megan - 2012-03-19 16:34

      Marion, if what people are saying about hospital staff being unsympathetic and unwilling to perform the procedure then that is something that needs to be sorted out. I would absolutely LOVE for a medical personnal to refuse me a legal, legit procedure because THEY personally have a problem with in... Good grief, I'd be a friggen millionaire!!!

      LindiBleu - 2012-03-20 09:14

      @ Megan, for some reason these things dnt happen to people who can stand up for themselves. I read so many horror stories about government hospitals, yet I have used them and have only sterling service to report. Nice smiling joking nurses - who explain everything and keep checking up on me. HOwever, I have accompanied a friend to a clinic in Soshanguve, where 'couselling" was given by a guy. what he said was, you girls are here bcos u hav a problem, and your figure will be gone and your new bf wont want you with this funny figure. so you are here for us to help you get rid of this problem" Essentially, they were treated like termination is a frivolous matter, a nuisance to be sorted out. Never mind the sheer trauma of having to make such a decision. and when the girls are done, they are told that now they can have a new bf without the inconvenience of a stomach. when I protested, I was chucked out of the waiting room since I had a big mouth and I wasnt even there to do anything - I must take my English and education somewhere else.

  • Gavin - 2012-03-19 10:08

    Abortion is legal in SA, why put your life at risk by having an illegal abortion? This is so sad and wrong. I hope they nail whoever did this to the wall.

      koo.doyle - 2012-03-19 10:34

      It may be legal, but not everyone can afford it unfortunately. I highly doubt she would have gone this route other than by absolute desperation.

      celeste.rsa - 2012-03-19 13:33

      Abortions are free at certain state hospitals and clinics, and free contraceptives are even more widely available.

  • Naledi - 2012-03-19 10:17

    Headline says "Student dies after botched abortion" , then body of article says "it would appear as if an illegal abortion was the cause of death" And then you go and Name the poor girl. Seriously???!! -Little journalistic integrity here.

      Marion - 2012-03-19 10:23

      Agree Naledi.

      Katlego - 2012-03-20 11:32

      agree Naledi, the naming of poor girl was wrong because there is no facts here

  • Mesulie Vince' Ntombela - 2012-03-19 10:22

    Two lives lost...I wish other women would just learn from this tragedy!!!

      Vusi - 2012-03-19 11:02

      brother, not only women also us(men) we are also accountable for unwanted preg.

      Bibi - 2012-03-19 15:21

      @Vusi: Well said and I hope you are not a lone voice out there. BUT I think both parties should be responsible for contraception.

  • annah.sefako - 2012-03-19 10:25

    Its very sad may her soul rest in peace.

  • elaine.swart - 2012-03-19 10:30

    If people were less squeamish about educating young women about their rights to have safe and legal abortions maybe this kind of thing won't happen. We're so scared of offending pro-lifers we'd rather have young girls die. Irony..

  • Se-a Spencer Ikeremm - 2012-03-19 10:30

    News24 really should reconsider their name&shame policy. I can't understand why we had to be given a name.

      Naledi - 2012-03-19 12:23

      My point exactly!!! And they not even certain if it was abortion. NX!!

      Irma - 2012-03-19 13:04

      I agree. They have no respect for the families.

  • Tieneke de Coning - 2012-03-19 10:34

    So sad, abortion is legal in our country. Wonder why she choose to take this root. . . This is way abortion should stay LEGAL in SA. Condolences to all her family and friends.

      Vusi - 2012-03-19 10:59

      sis, fear is more powerful than love that is why she chose that route. maybe boyfriend said something who knows.

  • Medline - 2012-03-19 10:36

    I wonder how many times she did this and succeeded.... RIP Anyway

      Vuyisa VeRn Mawonga - 2012-03-19 12:24

      U are so insensitive.. Wat wud have happened if you would have just kept quite? *appauld*

  • mdebruyn1 - 2012-03-19 10:37

    it seems that this girl was ill for awhile before this happened, why jump to a conclusion that she had an abortion, without a post mortam its not for us to judge her. It could be from natural causes that she started bleeding, so please do not judge so easily.

  • Salomè - 2012-03-19 10:40

    First of all , the facts that are used in this article are not based on the entire truth! Beeld reporter on scene had no sensitivity towards the situation! I was on scene, and feel that it is very unsensitive that Beeld would publish such an article without any remorse, and before the parents and friends are aware of the real cause of death!! Refering back to the death of Shandre van Tonder was completely unnecessary and NOT relevant to this situation!!

  • daniella.blazic - 2012-03-19 10:43

    why why why are people STILL doing illegal abortions? This is coming from a girl university who clearly is an educated person. What makes me even more sad is there is so much protection against pregnancy... Regardless condolences to family & friends and may you RIP Ayanda.

  • Vusi - 2012-03-19 10:54

    parents or family members in black communities should learn that our children/teens are not mentally prepared for university education( being independent),we need to do something especially in our communities. It's sad but it true. May her soul and unborn baby rest in peace.

      Naledi - 2012-03-19 12:25

      what does race and readiness for education, gotta do with any of this ??? o_0

  • Deborah - 2012-03-19 11:14

    Who needs an illegal abortion in this day and age?

      charmaine.pauwels - 2012-03-19 11:49

      Unfortunately when the legal ones cost so much, young ladies feel they have no alternative but to have an illegal abortion.

      koo.doyle - 2012-03-19 12:41

      Perhaps those who can't afford the legal route? Don't be so quick to judge.

  • bmoerane - 2012-03-19 11:23

    shame man..

  • Loyiso Qoboshiyana - 2012-03-19 11:38

    The headline of the story: \Student dies after 'botched abortion'\ is sensationalist. Why wasn't the word \apparently\ used before 'botched abortion'? A postmortem has not been conducted as the article states. Condolences to the family and friends

  • Joanita - 2012-03-19 11:55

    Why do our youth still feel the need to do backstreet abortions? Wether I agree with abortion or not, should not stand in my children's way to approach me and tell me about their issue! It alarms me that this poor child endured all of this on her own :((((

      Simthandile Mpondo - 2012-03-19 13:09

      I feel u Juanita it's a bit hard especially for some black children to discuss such issues with their parents. I'm not trying to bring in the race card here but I know this for a fact. I feel sorry for her family though. It's pretty hard losing a child.

      Linda - 2012-03-20 10:57

      Simthandile, not so much a race issue as cultural. Many children of ALL races find it difficult to speak openly to their parents about "sensitive" issues like sex. I agree with your sentiments though.

  • Fanelesbongokuhle Chippa Ntuli - 2012-03-19 12:34

    May her soul R.I.P, Its such a pity that they mentioned her name.

  • Fanelesbongokuhle Chippa Ntuli - 2012-03-19 12:34

    May her soul R.I.P, Its such a pity that they mentioned her name.

  • Bambanani - 2012-03-19 12:45

    dont enrol your child at uj,

      kim.m.packer - 2012-03-19 17:07

      How is this incident uj's fault!!!???? You have no right to judge what happened!!

  • Bambanani - 2012-03-19 12:46

    condolences to her family and friends

      Keneilwe Moatshe - 2012-03-19 22:53

      On point!!may her soul rest in peace nd let God b the judge!bless her heart..

  • Irma - 2012-03-19 13:03

    Who's to say she wasn't on some form on contraception? No pill or comdom or anything is 100% effective. Unless someone here knows her personally to say she wasn't on contraceptive. It's not her that should be punished and judged for this- she made a decision that she felt was right. If she had the baby, who's to say she would have been able to afford him/ her? She may not have retuned to finish her education. The child may have grown up in a poverty stricken home. Grown up to become a criminal to survive. I could go on. It's narrow minded to say don't have sex if you don't want a baby. Only those planning a family have sex with the intention of having a baby. Mistakes and accidents happen. You wouldn't say the same to someone who died in some other kind of accident, like extreme sports or whatever, "we'll if she didn't want to die she shouldn't have gone sky diving". Please people, it's the people that RUN these "abortion clinics" that should have your judgement.

  • Virginia - 2012-03-19 13:16

    Surely long before we reach university - 1. we know that we are responsible for our actions and our own bodies. 2. We know exactly how to make a baby.

  • Melinda - 2012-03-19 13:25

    To me this is very sad but it does take two to make an baby, and abortion is murder to me. you can be so blessed by falling preg their are so many people that wish to fall preg, if it was rape then yes I would also go for abortion. RIP mother and baby

      Alex - 2012-03-19 16:20

      Melinda, it does take two to make a baby, however it is often the case that there is only one left to hold it.. Falling pregnant and having a child are indeed blessings. But this is not always the case. This poor girl was a student, probably not yet working, single and probably felt very alone and frightened. There is no mention of the baby's father, and considering she chose the illegal route, he probably refused to help pay for the abortion and the fact that he wasn't even with her when she died speaks volumes about what kind of 'man' he is. Babies are expensive, as is university, few people can afford both, so she probably would have had to drop out, as a single mother live on the measly R300 a month government grant, find a job a few months after the baby was born, which would pay peanuts as she wouldn't have had an education, support herself and the baby on this salary. Somehow find the money to pay for someone to care for her child which she worked and eventually for education and medical care among other things... This is sadly the truth faced by so many people in this country, and worldwide, what mother wants a life of difficulty, poverty and struggle for their child?

      DolceLucy - 2012-03-19 18:00

      Thank you Alex. Tired of hypocrites who claim that 'abortion is murder' but that it's okay to abort if you were raped. Some consistency please. I'm pro-choice, by the way.

      LindiBleu - 2012-03-20 09:20

      Agree with you Alex, I find it interesting that most prolifers are male, and would not even consider adopting the thousands of unwanted children in orphanages and places of safety. Who's to say if the mothers of those abandoned children had had the option of a termination they might not have taken it? I am also pro-choice, precisely because I am a single mom and I know how taxing it can be.

  • Greg - 2012-03-19 14:31

    This is a sad state of affairs...they should investigate who performed the abortion and charge them with among other things, culpable homicide!! Ps - Anyone know how Shandre van Tonder died?

      Phillip Nemo Havenga - 2012-03-19 19:34

      Yes, she died of pneumonia in her sleep.

  • Mark - 2012-03-19 15:02

    Justice has been done.Life for a life.

  • Perseverance - 2012-03-19 15:04

    Very Sad but this student should consider going to Clinics and Hospital bcoz dey understand and dey are used to it!! So theres nothing to hide,its normal!!

  • Andile - 2012-03-19 15:06

    As painfull as it is let this be a lesone to all if you do not need a baby do not go around having unprotected sex as for illegal arbotion goverment provided clinics and hospitals to prevent such cases people please use them to her family everything happens for a reason it was her time may her soal rest in peace

  • Michael - 2012-03-19 16:34

    Sad news indeed. Afterall we all got to die oneday,either way naturally or accidentally, so don't judge anyone!

  • Michael - 2012-03-19 16:35

    Sad news indeed. Afterall we all have to die oneday either way, naturally or accidentally, so don't judge anyone.

  • Adair - 2012-03-19 18:12

    Why do people need to have illegal abortions?Doesn't say much for our govt health system.

  • Winsome - 2012-03-19 18:46

    Could this poor girl not have had a legal abortion? Not sure, but I thought it was OK in this country to choose whether to have the baby or not. Hope they find who gave her the illegal abortion - it really amounts to murder.

  • lmarima - 2012-03-20 01:10

    How do news24 know for sure it is an illegal abortion,nowhere in the article is mention of abortion pills or herbs to terminate pregnancy,only lot of blood. Give us facts not guess work here

  • jasmine.davids2 - 2012-03-20 07:40

    yes why fall pregnant in the first place when contraceptives are free without stress she's a big girl they won't ask questions and also u knw bt the birds and the bees and the consequences of it and if u not ready for tht thn abstain r use protection i think that there are just not strict enuf laws regarding ths also we have girls dumping thr babies r killing thm in ths situations i thnk naming n shaming thm coupled wth forced sterilisation is the way to go

  • Chabie - 2012-03-20 08:29

    rather give birth to a healthy baby than kill yrself..our condolences to her family....

  • Maetsane - 2012-03-20 09:21

    Serves her right for killing an innocent child.

      Gugu Diamond Mkhize - 2012-03-21 12:17

      Hope your daughter dies the same way

  • lntshabele - 2012-03-20 10:20

    It seams like the legal abortion that the government have provided for people is not an option for them. I hope parents need to talk to their kids before they leave home to tertiary. My mother did like wise in early 90s

  • Pappadogianis - 2012-03-21 06:08

    Ihave failed to establish why the condemnation of abortion or its demonising can be attributed to 'black communities'. Abortion is a very sensitive issue such that our society is divided over the issue not according to race but to beleifs and ideologies .Therefore it cannot be assumed that black people are the once who only demonise the act. Sensor to abortion can be found is everywhere even across races. The behavior of the youths especially at tertiary institution is one which require condemnation in strongest terms. Yes, abortion can be a way out but the it is being abused. Taking it as if taking pain killers for a headache?. May her soul rest in peace

  • mbmarvestar - 2012-03-21 22:26

    This is really bad I can't even Imagine what her parents are going through after all the sacrifices parents make for their kids to be something i life now this. Boys and girls Ladies and gentlemen Lets all be responsible and take accountability for our actions. My condolences to the family. May Her soul Rest in peace.

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