The family and community of Westcliff is outraged by the passing of a 17-year-old boy, who reportedly committed suicide, following an alleged school dispute.
Matthew David was found hanged in his home by loved ones on Tuesday, 31 July.
The Grade 11 learner of Chatsworth Secondary School, was described as a well mannered and disciplined child.
Heartfelt condolences have been pouring in for him on social media platforms since the day of his passing.
Reports suggest that the tragedy unfolded after a school meeting with his mother and the institution’s principal, regarding his progress report.
It’s alleged that he was the victim of verbal abuse by the school principal. He was also accused of smoking and distributing drugs on the school premises for which he was allegedly suspended.
Matthew’s brother, Joshua David, told the Chatsworth Tabloid that the meeting, which took place in school, was structured and carried out in a formal manner.
“My mother asked Matthew about his report and he said it was in school.
“The next day my mother and brother went to school, and she had no idea that they were waiting for her. The principal along with two other teachers accused him of selling drugs and smoking in school. They never gave them a chance to defend themselves,” said David.
Chatsworth Secondary School principal, Arthur Luckhan said the Department of Education advised him not to comment on the matter, as it was subject to ongoing internal investigations.
“I have been advised by my superiors not to comment on the matter as it is under investigation, however I do pass my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family,” he added. When the principal was questioned on Matthew’s alleged suspension, he explained that no such letter was given to Matthew.
Luckhan says that due to children not giving their parents progressive academic reports, a circular had been sent out, inviting parents to come to school and have their children’s reports picked up from the school’s offices.
Pearl Pillay, who acts in the capacity of a Westcliff Flats Community Activist, says she is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of such an innocent soul.
“Matthew was a well-mannered and disciplined child. He was never rude or disrespectful. He grew up in front of me. He was never involved in drugs. His mother kept him at home to avoid him getting involved in wrong company or activities.” The police’s provincial spokesperson, Thulani Zwane, says Chatsworth police are investigating further.
“A 17-year-old male allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his home in Westcliff, Chatsworth. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.” Comment from the Department of Education was not forthcoming at the time of going to press. Mathew was laid to rest in Clairwood on Saturday, 4 August.