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Gauteng Education Dept probes bullying allegations in wake of child suicide

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3-minute read
04 November 2023 | 09:03 CAT

Grade Six learner Sibusiso Mbatha (12) from Khehlekile Primary School committed suicide on October 23 amid bullying allegations.

Gauteng MEC for education Matome Chiloane will appoint an independent law firm to assist the Department with its investigation into the suicide of a pupil after an alleged bullying incident at school.

Khehlekile Primary School grade 6 pupil Sibusiso Mbatha on Monday hanged himself in the family bathroom. He was distraught over a bullying incident allegedly instigated by a teacher.

The Department visited the Mbatha family on Thursday and promised to support the grief-stricken loved ones.

It said once the investigation is complete, a thorough report would be shared with the family.

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane: “Every time a report comes, we share it with the family. So you will get the report with the Department and the district for recommendations. We will ensure that this is done speedily.”

“At the centre of the report is obviously to investigate those who may have done wrong and those who should be held accountable but lastly, more importantly, is the recommendation that will assist the department to ensure that such incidents never happen again in our schools,” Chiloane said.

The Department has given the law firm a timeframe of five days to finalize and report back on its findings and has assured the family they would also get to see the report.

To help with children’s mental health issues in the wake of several recent suicides, Matome said the Department had ramped up its psychosocial unit and partnered with NGOs. This included establishing boxes where pupils could insert the name of the person bullying them.

Listen to the full interview on The Daily Round-Up with Moulana Junaid Kharsany.

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