THE department of education is investigating allegations that a 13-year-old schoolboy hanged himself because he did not want to return to the same school next year to be taught by a "racist" teacher.
S'duduzo Qulo, of the Panorama area in Pietermaritzburg, hanged himself on Sunday shortly after a conversation with his mother. This was after he begged her not to make him go back to Scottville Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal next year.
The Grade 5 pupil was allegedly not getting along with one of the teachers at the school.
Last week the school had given pupils forms to fill in, confirming whether they would be returning to the school next year.
His mother had to complete the form for him to take back to school. He was later found hanging in his room.
His distraught mother Nolwazi Dlamini yesterday said that it was not the first time the child had complained about the same teacher.
"He used to tell me about the 'abusive and racist teacher', but I did not take it seriously until a few months ago when I decided to report these complaints to the principal.
"But I did not get any joy from that either because in my conversation with the principal it was clear that he was protecting the teacher and being very defensive," she said.
Dlamini said until the death of her son, the principal had not said anything or made any plans to make sure that the boy was protected against the teacher.
"My son used to tell me Iabout how the teacher made fun of the fact that he was older than other children in his class.
"I have asked the department of education MEC Senzo Mchunu and Premier Zweli Mkhize to make sure that the matter is properly investigated so that such a tragic incident does not happen again at this school."
Dlamini said before reporting the matter she had spoken to several children who go to the same school to confirm the allegations.
The incident has left pupils and teachers at the school shocked and traumatised.
The department of education yesterday sent a team to investigate the allegations around the alleged problems that the boy had at school.
Department spokesperson Mbali Thusi said the investigation is to establish the truth about the allegations that the child hanged himself because he was fed up with his treatment at school.