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Grade 6 Pupil Takes Own Life Over Bullying

Sibusiso on the day of his death had an altercation with one of his classmates who called him “isitabane” (gay).

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Grade 6 Pupil Takes Own Life Over Bullying

A law firm is probing the case of a grade 6 pupil who committed suicide after his teacher bullied him.

Sibusiso Mbatha, 12, from Khehlekile Primary School in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, was found dangling in the bathroom at home on Monday evening by his mother, Mpumi Mbatha.

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He left a note saying he was tired of the harassment and humiliatioon by his teacher, Sonny Dlamini. The teacher reportedly told him to leave his “gayism” outside the school premises.

According to his aunt, Nosipho Nkosi, Sibusiso had complained several times about Dlamini’s abusive behaviour towards him.

She said that Dlamini had also physically assaulted Sibusiso on the day of his death after he had an altercation with one of his classmates who called him “isitabane” (gay).

Nkosi said that the family is heartbroken over Sibusiso’s death and that they blamed Dlamini for driving him to suicide.

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She noted that Dlamini had visited the family the day after Sibusiso’s death and boasted that he had warned him about being gay. Nkosi said:

He told us that he told Sibusiso to leave his gayness outside the school gates. [Sonny Dlamini] said he was trying to help him because being gay is wrong and sinful. He showed no remorse or sympathy for what he did to our child.

The Gauteng Department of Education has confirmed that it has launched an investigation into the matter.

Grade 6 Pupil Takes Own Life Over Bullying

Gauteng MEC for education Matome Chiloane will appoint an independent law firm to probe the case and establish all facts.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department would provide counselling and support to his family and fellow learners.

Mabona added that the department would take disciplinary action against Dlamini they find him guilty of bullying Sibusiso.

He urged learners who were experiencing any form of bullying or discrimination at school to report it. He said:

We condemn any form of bullying or abuse of our learners by anyone, especially by our educators who are supposed to protect and nurture them.

We appeal to our learners to speak out if they are facing any challenges at school or at home, and we assure them that we will assist them in any way we can.

Sibusiso’s funeral will be held on Saturday, 28 October 2023, at his home in Thokoza.


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