Teen teased for failing, hangs herself

2013-01-18 08:31

Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal mother arrived at home from work to find her daughter hanging from an ANC robe tied to a tree in their yard.

Gugulethu Gumede apparently killed herself on Monday, just days before the start of the new school year, because friends had been teasing her after she failed Grade 11. She was due to repeat the grade this year, the Daily News reported.

The teen’s mother, Ntombifuthi Khumalo, told how she saw a shadow in the yard at their home in KwaDabeka, near Pinetown, and at first thought it was a black dustbin bag.

But when she came closer, she realised it was the body of her daughter.

There was a pot of boiling water on the stove and scattered beans on a chopping board, suggesting to her that her daughter was preparing supper.

There was no note.

“She was unhappy about not passing at school last year, even more so because her brother, Mzomuhle, was in the same class but he passed,” her mother said.

She wanted to drop out of school and her mother said rumours that she was to marry an older man from the community were completely untrue.

A police spokesperson said an inquest docket had been opened.


  • DavidBanner - 2013-01-18 08:37

    Sad. Even though the syllabus has been made easier.

      PrettyUsefulArt - 2013-01-18 09:01

      How self-righteous, short-sighted and narrow-minded of you, DavidBanner. You have absolutely no idea what this child's life was like, what challenges she faced. And even if her DNA didn't give her the brains of a rocket scientist, is she to blame for that too? Sis man. *takes deep breath* A powerful message to the ANC from this young lady. They continually fail the children of this country.

      sharkie.fin - 2013-01-18 09:12

      Hulks smash! One has to live with the consequences. Like not studying enough.

      PrettyUsefulArt - 2013-01-18 09:16

      Yesterday I received hundreds of thumbs downs because I dared to equate a father calling his child stupid to child abuse. I was asked if I was a perfect parent. Unfortunately comments were closed before I had a chance to respond. My nephew committed suicide at age 18, in matric. I witness to this day the devastation of my brother and his wife. The guilt. The questions. Children of that age are very sensitive to criticism. There are ways of doing things, people. We are here to build our children up, to lead by example. I don't care how cross you get, calling a child stupid is tantamount to child abuse. There, I've said it again. Thumbs down all you like.

      carl.debeer.52 - 2013-01-18 09:23

      Its ironic that the ANC killed her dreams of a good education and it was the ANC robe that hung her from that tree and killed her in the end! Sad story but things like this are probably going to become more regular with this government...

      janice.mcmaster.92 - 2013-01-18 09:58

      Brain candy, I agree with you. I saw a good saying somewhere the other day, "Its easier to build up a child than to repair an adult"..... Makes one think!

      anneri.orrenswanepoel - 2013-01-18 10:08

      Well said BrainCandy.Who on earth can give you a thumbs down??????

      heather.mcclelland.750 - 2013-01-21 22:38

      I'd love to see how you'd react to the same narrow-minded comment like yours, if one of your children had hung herself for being teased at school just because she had to repeat the year!! You're a king DavidBanner, and you are so righteous and high up that you think the world owes you a favor, like you have never failed at something in your life. You're supposed to be an adult yet even a child has more maturity than you. Grow up you cretin!

      debruin.rossouw - 2013-02-11 07:37

      I have to agree with DavidBanner. BrainCandyCPT can you deduce the life that the child had lived and what challenges she had faced, besides being teased at at school? The education department does know that the quality of the education system is poor, but instead of increasing the quality and efficacy of the educators, they lowered the standards. When I was still at school, the pass rate was 50%, why 30% now all of a sudden? Does a matriculant with a 30% avg know more than one with 50%? Either way, it is sad that this child has had to take her own life, but who is at fault? The child for not paying enough attention to her studies? The parent(s) for possibly not playing their part - I use the word "possibly" since the article does not make mention of the parent's role? The educators for not doing their job properly? Or the kids for bullying her? I know how it feels to fail something and having to redo it. However, instead of sulking and taking my own life, I've used that to motivate myself into doing better - and better I did do. Being a teenager is not easy, especially if you have to live in rural circumstances similar to what Gugulethu Gumede had lived. With this in mind, who is to blame for the reduced education standards?

  • bless.boswell - 2013-01-18 08:38

    How sad she felt so desperate and took her own life. Condolences to her family. Children can be so insensitive and crass. Teasing and bullying is sometimes just too much to bear.

      Jeremy - 2013-01-18 09:08

      Kids have always been like this. Bullying and teasing are part of growing up. Most people can deal with it - but once in a while a teenager like this one takes it much too seriously. I'd like to know what the truth is about the "rumours that she was to marry an older man." Unfortunately it happens all too often in this country that teenage girls fall back on sugar daddies to help them through tough times..

      lydonmcg - 2013-01-18 09:11

      What exactly do those rumours have to do with you? Whom she wanted to marry is her business.

      Jeremy - 2013-01-18 09:18

      Lydon, the rumours are mentioned in the article. It appears likely that, if true, the impending marriage might have impacted on her studies and her suicide.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-18 11:40

      Jeremy Thorpe, Bullying and teasing isn't part of growing up. It is a cowards way to make friends. Your comment about sugar daddies is silly.

      Jeremy - 2013-01-18 12:47 certainly isn't silly. I work at a major university - and sugar daddies are rife - particularly among first year girls from poorer backgrounds. All I'm saying is that this could have been a contributory factor in the death of this poor girl. Bullying and teasing aren't desirable - but they're a fact of life. Every school has them - and if you're a victim you have to learn to deal with it.

      debruin.rossouw - 2013-02-11 07:44

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg, of course bullying and teasing is part of growing up; you find it every where you go as you venture into what is called life - from kindergarten to primary school to high school and to some extend, varsity (or any other tertiary institution). Whether you are being bullied because you are over weight, because you smell, because of who or what your parents are, etc. you face it constantly. I was bullied at school, and I can assure you that I did not make - nor did I intend to make - friends with those people, so your "cowards way of making friends" statement dubious at best - care to explain how you made that deduction? With that being said, kids do become mass murderers because of being bullied - especially in the States, where school murders are rife in the teen years. However, in the same breath I would like to say that great minds are formed as a result of being bullied.

  • jeancollinsmulivha - 2013-01-18 08:42

    I don't blame her, Mayb it was more than that

  • Graham Jehoma - 2013-01-18 08:47

    ANC rope?? is it the same one juju was hanged with? eish sorry had to ask..

      jj.jeno.1 - 2013-01-18 09:03

      Robe...learn to read.

      Michael Hawthorne - 2013-01-18 09:10

      I have never seen an anc robe nor rope.

      sharkie.fin - 2013-01-18 09:13

      ANC makes clothes now?

      womba.wonder - 2013-01-18 09:37

      Natty ANC leather jackets worn by Zuma et al. ANC-tshirts everywhere.

      Bob - 2013-01-18 10:15

      I'll bet it was made in China.

  • r.mashigo - 2013-01-18 08:48

    Schools should provide counselling for such learners to prevent these suicide attempts. Especially in high schools. There are so many options these days, she could have enrolled at a FET college to complete her grade 11 there. Suicide is such an unnecessary tragic exit. Condolences to the family.

      debruin.rossouw - 2013-02-11 07:50

      mashigo, there are schools that do provide these facilities, however, the same people that provide these facilities do not always recognise the signs of depression or bullying. You are absolutely right into mentioning counselling facilities at school. School is getting harder each year, and children are not becomming less harsh.

  • piet.boerie - 2013-01-18 08:49

    RIP angel my condolences to the family. So sad for any one to lose a child.

  • leeyakath.abbubaker - 2013-01-18 08:57

    thats just sad. her brother in the same class passed and she didnt. must be a horrible feeling to live with.

  • RedForman101 - 2013-01-18 09:04

    This is heartbreaking. Kids are under such huge pressure these days. Very sad.

  • ulandi.potgieter - 2013-01-18 09:05

    Yes what's an ANC rope? Yes R.I.P. young one. It's a pity no one saw the signs early before she took her own life.

      mark.singh.9889 - 2013-01-18 09:11

      Not sure what an ANC rope is. Doubt such a thing exists. They talking about a robe (which is a gown of some sort)

      ulandi.potgieter - 2013-01-18 09:17

      @ mark.singh.9889 - thats so true.

      Bob - 2013-01-18 10:25

      Robe. With a B. As in 'let me put on my robe and wizard hat'.

  • moi.carla.1980 - 2013-01-18 09:06

    RIP Gugu

  • ben.louw.5 - 2013-01-18 09:10


  • Michael Hawthorne - 2013-01-18 09:11

    There is more to her story than merely failing.

      womba.wonder - 2013-01-18 09:39

      Pray tell us what it is...

      Deon - 2013-01-18 09:39

      I agree, they also did not state her age. She might have failed before? Sad.

  • delish7564 - 2013-01-18 09:15

    How horrible for her mother to find her daughter like that, my condolences! Another tragic waste of a young sad that she saw this as the only way out. R.I.P.

  • gillian.louw2 - 2013-01-18 09:18

    So tragic. How can her peers tease her about failing. Rest in peace

  • moegmalseun - 2013-01-18 09:25

    tragic ,

  • justin.vanniekerk - 2013-01-18 09:32

    The ANC indirectly killed her...

  • augusto.lugoboni - 2013-01-18 09:40

    Tragic news. What's also tragic is the mother thinking that her hanging daughter was a black dustbin bag. That comparison will surely haunt her for a long time. RIP

      Bob - 2013-01-18 10:22

      She'll have a tough time when refuse removal day comes along next week.

  • ted.harilall - 2013-01-18 09:41

    So sad may her soul rest in peace. One will wonder and remain a mystery why did she use a ANC robe to take her life. Did the ANC fail her?.

  • wessel.jordaan.3 - 2013-01-18 09:45 wank.r!!!

  • john.morreira.9 - 2013-01-18 09:47

    This is just tragic. Leave the name calling and blame assigning alone on this one.

  • warren.rodel - 2013-01-18 09:49

    Zuma - this is your fault, sort out your morals and start doing your job, you are dragging the ANC through mud.

  • diran.pillay - 2013-01-18 09:55

    She had no support! She needed guidance. For many children in this country their parents are illiterate and do not have an education. They rely completely on the school and teachers in the school for all the guidance,direction and support.

      ulandi.potgieter - 2013-01-18 09:58

      That is so true what you say there but some times the parents rely on the children because they are getting a better education than what they got when they were going to school.

  • vusi.linguistik - 2013-01-18 09:57

    Some people are really very fragile emotionally and sensitive psychologically. We need to be more in tune and invoke the spirit of ubuntu on our fellow citizens. All she needed were words of comfort and encouragement and perharps more dedicated attention towards helping her in her school work. She gave it her all and it didn't pan out, being ridiculed for it was plain insensitive .

      Bob - 2013-01-18 10:05

      The world is harsh and unforgiving. Fragile people and their weak genes cannot successfully manipulate their environment and are doomed to fail, hence why most of them commit suicide... which stops them from reproducing and carrying on their terrible genes for another generation. That's just how it goes. There's no time for spoon-feeding the weak.

  • mmangaliso - 2013-01-18 09:57

    if that child used a copper wire to off herself were you going say an eskom wire or logic wire or LG wire. The saying that it takes a village doesn't mean anything in South Africa writing here acting like you care RAoK! How many of you have done a random act of kindness. One less person in SA and I'm happy nt said

      Bob - 2013-01-18 10:10

      Your comment seems to be in English but somehow I can't understand a thing you just said...

  • Chris - 2013-01-18 09:59

    veryb sad

  • mmangaliso - 2013-01-18 10:05

    could happen that she was pregnant bt news24 willn't tell you that they will tell you about ANC ROPE OR ROBE. Most of these young girls don't care about school they want grants and sugar daddies. Her death doesn't coz me any saddness

      Bob - 2013-01-18 10:07

      I wonder if that ANC robe had JZ's grinning face printed on it. Man that'd just be a terrible way to go out.

      ulandi.potgieter - 2013-01-18 10:22

      @ mmagaliso - you are a real Heart A**hole i hope you are not a father because you have no feelings at all.

  • Sbuda Faya Thefirestarta - 2013-01-18 10:23

    what alot of you don't realize is that news24 is trying to stir up a racial or political debate. WTF is an ANC rope never heard of it neither have i seen a DA nor any other party rope. the issue here is a child hanged herselfhow then as a community do we work together to prevent such occurrences thats all that should matter not politics.

      Bob - 2013-01-18 10:28

      Robe. Learn to read.

      mphotant.thelejane - 2013-01-18 10:35

      Uyakunyela lo

      mahogany.wamukwa - 2013-01-18 10:57

      Robe baba not rope are you blind?

  • embarrassedtobeblack.margret - 2013-01-18 10:39

    starting to look like news24 is the official adverting agent for the ANC, why even mention the ANC why not just say she hung herself, if it was a robe bought at Edgars or Jets news24 wouldn't have written she hung herself using a robe bought at Jets ..... good work News24 turn some poor child's sad story into a political issue ...... glade to see you guys are neutral

  • samacoba - 2013-01-18 10:39

    She might have not made the grade but she appears to have understood symbolism...

  • trindard.makunike - 2013-01-18 10:42

    It is so sad that her life ends this way. But parents lets mentor our kids when they still young, discover their talents at a young age and give them necessary support.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-18 11:36

    How sad. The children of today have an uphill battle and where must it end?.

  • vanessa.luckhoff - 2013-01-18 12:39

    So very sad, and so unnecessary. R.I.P.

  • ray.ryno - 2013-01-20 10:29

    the point still stands regardless of being teased or not,you have to work for it and considering the morals and mind sets of the young generations are party, sex, drugs and and pure trouble. I CAN COMMENT BECAUSE I WAS THERE, yet i strived to better myslef. sure it's sad that she took her own life in desperation to cry out for help. no one deserves to have that as an option. but the actions you take has consiquinces. compared to syllabus years ago, it's a breeze to pass most grades. but ou still have to make an effort. and if youre still saying it's the governments' fualt, i highy suggest you go see a thereapist. children of today are lazy and expect things to be given to them. and the idea came when the youth legua was created, giving children rights and removing responsibilities. it's no one's fualt she had a weak character, it truely uis sad. but dont come dare point fingers at people and judge. every person is responsible for their own decisions and actions

  • aeola - 2013-02-10 15:49

    I can understand this. My child has been teased for the past 5 years for making like a wolf in grade 8. She came to the point of making an end to her live several times and is currently under psychiatric treatment. The bad part is the school can do nothing to stop it.

  • - 2013-02-11 03:24

    Very sad.

  • cynthia.smith.71619533 - 2013-02-11 09:00

    To the children who teased this child, they are obviously not young kids, remember what goes around comes around. Their children will probably also be teased at school. It's called payback. They will also have to live with the memory of someone taking their life because they were teased. You know who you are and I hope you live to regret it every single day for the rest of your life. I hope you never forget what you did. To the family my sincere condolences. You have suffered terrible heartache because of a bunch of bullies.

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