By Kudzai Chikiwa
A FORM Four pupil at St Bernards High School in Bulawayo’s Old Pumula suburb was found hanging at home in Pumula North on Monday in a suspected case of suicide.
Thembelihle Gombora (16) allegedly hanged herself from the roof trusses of the family’s bedroom in the evening.
She lived with her grandmother as her parents work in South Africa.
Before the alleged suicide on Monday evening, Thembelihle had not slept at home on Saturday and Sunday, only coming back in the morning on the day she killed herself.
It appears she was reprimanded and decided to commit suicide after sending WhatsApp messages to her friends.
Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident.
“I can confirm that we are investigating a case of sudden death where a pupil from St Bernards High School allegedly hanged herself,” he said.
A Chronicle news crew visited the pupil’s family home and family members said they were still in shock and devastated by the pupil’s death.
Her aunt who declined to be named said she had not shown any signs of depression.
She however suggested that the deceased had been a troublesome child.
“Thembelihle was staying with her grandmother and other children here and we always got reports of her misbehaving such that gogo always complained about it. I was shocked to hear of her death because except her misbehaving, she had not shown any signs of depression suggesting she could take her life,” she said.
The aunt said the pupil did not sleep home on Saturday and Sunday, only to come on Monday in the morning and hanged herself in the evening.
“She was in the company of bad friends and she had strange habits considering her age. On the day she killed herself, her grandmother had told her to prepare some meat on the stove.
“All she did was to burn the meat and after that, she poured a lot of water and closed the pot to hang herself in the bedroom,” she said.
The aunt said before locking herself in the house to commit suicide, she was overheard sending WhatsApp voice messages to her friends.
She said the deceased did not leave any note except the WhatsApp messages, which they have not listened to yet because the phone was taken by the police.
“She left a 21 minute voice note on WhatsApp but we haven’t listened to it because the cell phone switched off and was taken by the police. We were surprised to hear her talking on her phone because we did not know that she had a cellphone,” she said.
Thembelihle’s aunt said the deceased used a belt to hang herself and when her grandmother found her hanging, she cut it off thinking that she was still alive.
She said Thembelihle’s body was taken to the United Bulawayo Hospitals for postmortem.
The aunt said they are not yet sure about funeral arrangements as they need to liaise with her parents who are still in South Africa.
“Her father called saying he will come today but the mother is still sorting out some things,” she said.
Teachers who were at the scene said they were devastated by the death of their pupil. The Chronicle