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CONDOLENCES are pouring in for the family of a 13-year-old Pietermaritzburg boy who hanged himself because he did not want to return to the same school to be taught by a "racist" teacher.
KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Senzo Mchunu yesterday visited the grieving family to offer his condolences.
S'duduzo Qulo was a Grade 5 pupil at Scottville Primary School.
He hanged himself at his home in Panorama on Sunday shortly after a conversation with his mother Nolwazi Dlamini about going back to the same school next year.
An investigation into the allegations that the boy committed suicide because he was terrified of returning to the same school to be taught by the "racist and abusive" teacher is under way.
Comforting the distraught mother, Mchunu said there is a warning and a lesson from the incident for both teachers and parents.
He said that they are, however, relying on the investigation to reveal whatever issues there were between the child and the teacher.
"This situation is painful, but we are going to get into the bottom of it," promised Mchunu.
Relating the story of what happened when her son hanged himself, Dlamini said her child's problems started at the beginning of the year when the school refused to admit him, saying he came from a disadvantaged school, Panorama Primary School.
She was told that he would not be able to cope with the standard of learning at Scottville.
"I fought for my child to be admitted and even told the principal that I would report the matter to the department of education because there was no policy that barred children from Panorama Primary from being admitted to Scottville Primary," said Dlamini.
S'duduzo was finally admitted on condition that he would repeat Grade 5.
"He would come home most of the time complaining about his class teacher, about the way the teacher treated him in class.
"He used to say that the teacher did not even check his homework, while all other pupils' work was checked and they were also assisted.
"This really affected him. He did not want to return to the same school."
National Teachers Union deputy president Allen Thompson described the incident as being the most unfortunate thing to happen in the education system.
He advised parents and teachers to form strong relationships with each other to keep the lines of communication open to prevent such incidents from being repeated.
Thompson said that this situation was however not easy on the teacher who would also need counselling.
"The person also experiencing a lot of pain right now is the accused teacher," he said.