“I feel like I am a failure, actually I am, as the teacher said so. It’s better for me to leave school. Imagine to be embarrassed like that! I just want to die so as to be free from all these pains.” These are the last words of Lathitha Nako to one of her friends after she was accused of witchcraft at school last week.
Lathitha (16) took her life on Wednesday, allegedly after some pupils and a teacher called her a witch and accused her of witchcraft, saying that her spiritual calling was disturbing other pupils.
Her aunt said that Lathitha’s spiritual journey started in 2019 and that the family appeased the ancestors so she could finish school. She said that the family was not aware of the bullying as Lathitha never said anything about it.
“On Wednesday, she had one of her episodes (communicating with the ancestors) in class. Apparently the teacher embarrassed her in front of other pupils. She came back from school and did her chores and we never suspected anything. She went to bed and when her grandmother joined her she was struggling to breathe and had soiled herself. She asked to be taken to hospital as she was in pain. Unfortunately, she passed away when she got to hospital,” Thabile said.
She said that they had thought she had not been communicating what their ancestors are telling her since they appeased them.
“It was only when we got voicenotes she had sent to her friends [that we found out]. She also sent a message to her cousin who is in Cape Town about why she had to take her life,” she said.
The message read: “Have you ever felt so down to the point where you wanna give up on life. To the point where you just wanna free yourself from everything. Being different from other kids only because you have a spiritual gift. You want to be open and discuss with your family but your mouth just shut. You cry day and night wishing things will be different but instead they get worse. Why am I different from others, I just want to rest in peace.”
Her aunt said that the family was devastated. “All she wanted was to become a doctor and that will never happen. The school failed us because there was no communication. They should have informed us about her episodes but that did not happen. We are hurting,” she said.
Provincial education MEC Fundile Gade said: “On Monday, the school will be visited by a multidisciplinary team to investigate this matter because we are reading deep signals to this unfortunate incident. Lastly, we wish to urge the public to give us a chance to deal with this and also support the affected family as they deal with this matter.”
He urged the public not to mobilise, saying this could put pressure on pupils writing their final examination.
Sources: Sowetan LIVE
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