- The KZN education department will investigate the circumstances that led to the death of 17-year-old Andiswa Chiya.
- The Sonyongwane High School pupil was found dead on Friday, allegedly after she was bullied by fellow pupils.
- The community was shaken by the incident.
The KwaZulu-Natal education department is investigating alleged bullying, which is believed to have led to a Sonyongwane High School dying by suicide.
Sindisiwe Msomi, the mayor of the Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipality, said 17-year-old Andiswa Chiya died last week, allegedly after enduring bullying by pupils at the Creighton school.
Msomi said the pupil died after a school event to celebrate the 2022 matric exams last Friday.
She said Msomi left a letter, in which she detailed the reasons for her death.
The mayor said Chiya was called ugly and teased about her head shape.
She urged parents and guardians to educate their children about mental health and to report when they struggled or needed support.
"This is cruelty that all parents must be aware of. Children must be protected at all times, and we must help them cope with the hardships they face because of bullying.
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"We must all understand the symptoms of depression, and talking about mental health is the key to preventing suicide. Preventing youth suicide starts with a better understanding of the symptoms of depression," she said.
Muzi Mahlambi, the spokesperson for the provincial education department, said an investigation would be conducted and they would act accordingly after establishing the circumstances surrounding the matter.
The ward councillor, Mthobisi Dlamini, who visited the school along with the mayor, said Chiya's family was struggling to come to terms with her death.
He said the community was shaken by the incident.
Dlamini said Chiya could have been helped if the school and local government had been aware of her struggle.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, you can contact the SA Depression and Anxiety Group's (Sadag) 24-hour mental health helpline at 0800 456 789; Sadag's WhatsApp counselling line, which operates from 09:00 to 16:00, at 076 882 2775, the SA Federation for Mental Health at 011 781 1852 and LifeLine South Africa at 0861 322 322.