Pupil dies in her sleep

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

A Mpumalanga pupil who made headlines in 2007 when a teacher forced her to take an Aids test after she scratched her has died.

Thoko Hlatshwayo, 18, died in her sleep yesterday morning, according to her mother Judith.

"It was at about 2am when I heard weird snoring and I rushed to her room to investigate what was happening.

"When I tried to wake her up, she could not do so. I then phoned an ambulance, which did not arrive, even after 30 minutes, prompting me to seek help from my neighbours.

"When I finally got transport, it was too late, my daughter had gone," said Judith tearfully.

In 2007, Thoko, who was epileptic, made headlines when her teacher forced her to have HIV-Aids tests without her parents' consent.

This was after she collapsed in the classroom and accidentally held onto the teacher, scratching her on the arm in the process.

Out of fear that Thoko might have infected her with HIV, the teacher forced her to undergo an Aids test as a precaution.

The teacher, was found guilty and fined R3500.

Her family filed a R500000 lawsuit against the provincial education department, alleging that her privacy and the confidentiality of her HIV test results had been violated.

Gerald Sambo, Mpumalanga education department spokesperson, said his department had sent their condolences to the Hlatshwayo family.