Law firm Rangata Attorneys to probe bullied learner’s suicide

The department of education in Gauteng has appointed independent law firm Rangata Attorneys to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a grade 6 pupil.

Sibusiso Mbatha, a pupil at Khehlekile Primary School in Thokoza, east of Johannesburg, hung himself in the outside toilet of his home last week.

Sibusiso was laid to rest at the weekend.

On Monday, Gauteng education MEC Matome Chiloane presented Rangata Attorneys to the school management team and school governing body.

Law firm to meet family

Chiloane said the law firm will also be introduced to Sibusiso’s family.

“The law firm is here to assist us. We want to find out what led to our child taking his life in the manner he did,” Chiloane said.

The law firm, led by its founder Baitseng Rangata and advocate Lehutjo Mello, was present during the announcement at a media briefing.

Mello said the firm will start its investigation on Wednesday and has been given five days to complete the investigation.

“We are going to hit the ground running, gather our evidence and talk to relevant stakeholders to find out what happened [to Sibusiso],” said Rangata.

“Our report needs to create closure because this is an issue that touches everybody in the country.”

Teacher blamed for suicide

Nosipho Nkosi, the aunt of Sibusiso Mbatha, told Sunday World last week that the teacher who allegedly bullied Sibusiso the day before, came to their home to gloat.

The teacher, Sonny Dlamini, whom the family said the boy had complained about numerous times, allegedly told the family that he had warned him about being gay.

“I told him to leave his gayness,” Nkosi alleged that Dlamini told the grieving family.

Nkosi said the visit had devastated the boy’s mother Mpumi Mbatha, who was already blaming herself for not taking action when her son complained about “Sir Dlamini”.

Describing Sibusiso as a cheerful and outspoken child who identified with the LGBTQI+ community, Nkosi said the family loved him as he was.

“He was an overachiever who thought he would win the likes of Sir Dlamini by outperforming academically,” said Nkosi.

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