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29

School pupil commits suicide after admin error

Posted by trufmwebmaster, Fri, 29 January 2010 10:27  |  Permalink | Comments (10)


An administration error by a high school teacher may have cost the life of a schoolgirl, who committed suicide after being told she would have to repeat her grade. Siphosethu Madyibi, 18, last year completed Grade 11 at Zamukulungisa Senior Secondary School in Mthatha.

Distraught family members yesterday told how Siphosethu, who had a six-year-old brother and a baby brother or sister on the way, was excited about starting Grade 12 because it would have been her last year. 

Her aunt Asanda Gidana said: “She visited me in East London over the Christmas holidays, but she was so excited about going into the senior class that she went back home sooner than usual.” But on Monday – three weeks into the new school year – Siphosethu’s excitement turned to despair when she was asked to leave her Grade 12 class because she had failed and return to Grade 11. 

Another aunt, Adelaide Madyibi, said Siphosethu had told the teacher her report card showed she passed Grade 11. She was told to bring it to school the following day. “At home that evening Siphosethu told her granny about it ... and said how embarrassing and humiliating going back to Grade 11 would be, especially after starting on Grade 12.” Madyibi said the report card was shown to the teacher, but she apparently still ordered Siphosethu to return to Grade11 because her name was not on the register for Grade12. 

On Tuesday after school, Siphosethu did not return home immediately but took a taxi into town. There, said Gidana, she bought weevil tablets and took them. It was not clear how many she consumed, but she collapsed at a taxi rank in Mthatha. 

Gidana said: “When she collapsed, she was recognised by a local taxi driver who rushed her to hospital and called the grandmother (Nophumzile Madyibi) to tell her what had happened.” Siphosethu was admitted to Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital where her stomach was pumped. She briefly gained consciousness and apologised for what she had done. 

She died on Wednesday.

dispatch

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