Mpuma learner, 9, who took his life was 'one of our needy children' - principal

2017-09-03 21:19
School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Nelspruit - The grandmother of a nine-year-old pupil who took his own life in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga, earlier this week, described her grandson as a happy child.

The Grade 2 pupil at Khulamlambo Primary School allegedly hanged himself on a swing cross-bar with a tunic belt on the school’s playground on Friday.

Speaking to News24 on Sunday, Beauty Nkosi said it was not clear what led her grandson to commit suicide.

"I am not sure what may have triggered his mind to commit suicide because he was a happy kid. It is confusing [even] now because he never showed any sign of problems he may be going through," Nkosi said.

She described her grandson as an obedient child.

"He was a child among my other children who I depended on when having to run chores. He is [the] one I relied on when needing to send someone to buy bread for our house. I will miss his energy mostly."

The school’s principal Thandi Luphoko described the boy as quiet.

"He was not a naughty kid but just someone with a quiet personality, therefore, it would not be so obvious to spot if he was going through some personal trouble," said Luphoko.


The school principal however disclosed that the child may have been affected by his poor background at home.

"He was one of our needy children at school. We were already assisting two other scholars who live with him at home. Some children are more emotionally affected by their poverty than others."

He wouldn’t be drawn on what he thought may have led to the incident.

"It could be anything."

The provincial education department said teachers had spotted the child hanging shortly before the final school bell rang at 13:20 on Friday.

"One never imagined that something of this sort can happen within a school environment," acting education MEC Sasekani Manzini said at the time.

An investigation into circumstances that led to the incident would be opened, Manzini said.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  education

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