KZN teen allegedly ends her life after taunts over her appearance

29 January 2023 - 16:05
By Yasantha Naidoo
A grade 11 pupil from a KwaZulu-Natal school on the south coast allegedly ended her life after being bullied
Image: Supplied A grade 11 pupil from a KwaZulu-Natal school on the south coast allegedly ended her life after being bullied

A grade 11 pupil at Sonyongwane high school in Creighton, southern KwaZulu-Natal, allegedly ended her life on Friday, leaving a note highlighting the torment she endured from some school pupils.

KwaZulu-Natal social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said she was distraught after hearing the 17-year old had allegedly committed suicide because she was told she was ugly and consistently teased about the shape of her head.

In a statement, the department said the pupil left school after celebrating matric results on Friday.

“It is heartbreaking to lose a child as a result of bullying at school. We have repeated incidents where children take their own lives as a result of bullying. Children cannot contain humiliation,” she said.

Ward councillor Mthobisi Dlamini said the teen’s family was “heartbroken”.

“This incident has affected the entire community because it is something that has never happened before. We were shocked that the child committed suicide after intense bullying at school,” said Dlamini.

He said if they had known about the challenge the child was facing, they would have intervened timeously to avoid such a tragedy.

Khoza said some children were bullies and parents should be cognisant that their child could be a victim and have conversations with them about mental health.

“This is cruelty that all parents should be careful of — the children must be protected at all times and we must be able to help them to deal with depression they encounter as a result of bullying.”

She deployed social workers to the family and school to provide psychosocial support.

Depression has been reported as the highest disease burden among adolescents and suicide the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds globally.

“It is important that we all understand the signs of depression and talking about mental health is key to preventing suicide. Prevention of teenage suicides starts with a better understanding of the symptoms of depression,” she added.

The education department didn't immediately respond to queries.


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