By Nqobile Tshili
A GRADE Six pupil at Mckeurtan Primary School in Bulawayo who allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree is related to a pupil from Townsend High School who killed herself last month in a similar manner, relatives have said.
Msizi Ndlovu (12) allegedly committed suicide on Thursday morning and his body was discovered hanging from a tree by traffic police officers who were about to mount a roadblock near Emagetsini in Nketa suburb.
Msizi allegedly took his own life in a bush dividing Nketa 8 and Emganwini at an apostolic sect shrine, quite a distance from his home.
It has since emerged that Msizi was a relative to Nomakhwezi Mzaca Nkomo (14), a pupil at Townsend High School who hanged herself at her family home in Sunninghill suburb after her mother ordered her to do her homework before watching South African soapie, Generations: The Legacy, on television.
Msizi’s grandmother, identified as MaMhlanga, on Thursday told The Chronicle that she was at a loss for words after her grandson allegedly hanged himself weeks after another child in the family had ended her life in similar fashion.
“I don’t know what is happening in the family. Last month, we lost another child through suicide. The pupil from Townsend High School that The Chronicle reported about after she committed suicide is our relative. We are just one family. What these children have done is traumatising,” said MaMhlanga.
She could not shed more light on the matter saying the family was yet to meet over Msizi’s death.
A Chronicle news crew visited the family yesterday and Msizi’s aunt identified as MaNdlovu also confirmed that the two children were related.
However, she said she was not at liberty to discuss the issue further.
MaNdlovu said the family was angry that police removed the boy’s body from the tree without the knowledge of the family. She said it was difficult for the family to accept that the child committed suicide as they only saw him in a coffin.
“We learnt about his death through WhatsApp messages. And the police did not even come to fetch us so that we could see for ourselves that indeed he had committed suicide. We think what the police did was unprofessional,” said MaNdlovu.
She said the family still did not know where the boy allegedly committed suicide.
The family said there are more questions that need to be answered regarding Msizi’s death.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango defended the conduct of the police saying due process was followed in removing his body.
She said if the family wants closure or has unanswered questions they can approach the officer in charge of the responsible station that handled the case.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has mourned Msizi’s death saying it was heartbreaking to lose two children to suicide in a single term.
Acting Bulawayo Provincial Education Director Mrs Olicah Kaira expressed shock.
“We’re touched as a province. We don’t understand why the child resorted to such a decision. We’re devastated by this tragic incident,” said Mrs Kaira.
“What is happening to our learners? In one term, we have lost two learners through suicide. It’s quite shocking, it’s scary.
“This means we should up psycho-social support to our learners, sharpen our strategies for our heads of departments and guidance and counselling in schools.”
Msizi was found hanging by his school necktie from a tree while in full uniform. The Chronicle