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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Concern after Tsakane Secondary School reports three suicides, four attempts

Gauteng education officials visited the school with law enforcement agencies and social workers following the suicide incidents.

The Gauteng department of education has raised the alarm about the “recurring” scourge of suicide incidents at Tsakane Secondary School.

This after two pupils and a staff member apparently took their own lives and four other attempted the same in one month.


Spokesperson Steve Mabona said two female pupils in Grade 8 and 12 from Tsakane Secondary School allegedly consumed poison at their homes and passed away on Monday, 7 August and Tuesday, 8 August.

“According to information at our disposal, another Grade 8 boy learner brought poison to the school on Tuesday, 8 August and consumed it in full view of other learners following the two previously reported deaths.

“However, this learner was immediately rushed to a local medical facility and is currently recovering. On a much sadder note, we were made aware of two other girl learners and a boy learner who also allegedly consumed poison, but are fortunately recovering at a medical facility,” Mabona said.

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Mabona confirmed on Friday, 18 August, a general worker from the same school allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison at home.

“We are also aware of a video showing two other girl learners being assisted to stand, with false reports they also consumed poison, which is not true.

“The video footage was captured on Monday, 21 August, during a community prayer at the school, in which some learners were emotionally moved by the passing of their fellow learners. Therefore, it must be clarified there is no learner who consumed poison at school and died on school premises,” Mabona added.


Mabona said the department’s officials visited the school on Tuesday, 22 August with law enforcement agencies and social workers.

“Necessary psycho-social support was provided to learners and classes continued without any disruptions. The Employee Wellness Team will be deployed to support staff at the school.”

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane said a parent’s meeting has been set for Sunday, 27 August, to address the “concerning behaviour at the school.”

“We are gravely concerned by the recurring suicidal behaviour at Tsakane Secondary School. Learners are encouraged to reach out to our officials and interact with professionals for necessary assistance by calling Childline on 116.

“We wish to convey our condolences to families of the bereaved learners and one general worker, wishing the entire school community finds peace during this time,” said Chiloane.

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