The Commissioner for Gender Equality says it’s saddened by the untimely death of Bafana Sithole after he was reportedly falsely accused of rape by a fellow learner at Hoërskool Kriel in Mpumalanga.
It is reported that Sithole died by suicide inside one of the school’s storeroom facilities following unfounded rape accusations against him. The Mpumalanga Department of Education is probing the death of the Grade 11 pupil.
In a suicide note addressed to his mother, the 17-year-old teenager details the pain and suffering he endured. He said the rape accusations have negatively affected his life.
It is reported that the accuser later confessed to having lied about the rape claims against Sithole.
The Commissioner for Gender Equality Lindiwe Ntuli-tloubatla, says this particular incident is unnecessary and uncalled for.
“We are disturbed by false accusations like these because they undo the progressive work that is done to eliminate gender-based violence and femicide. We send our condolences to the friends and family and the entire school population. This is a rare case and it means we must choose the things we make jokes about because when the learner came forward to say she was kidding, it was too late. At the end of the day now, life has been lost.”
Mpumalanga Police Brigadier, Selvy Mohlala, says at this point they do not have any evidence that the rape allegations levelled against the late Bafana Sithole are false. Mohlala says the police department is appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
“I wanted to clarify the issue of false accusations because currently, we don’t have any records that indicate that the allegations are false. And we don’t have any records to say the lady apologised later on and even the information on social media, it has not come to us formally as the police. Now my concern is that this might have unintended consequences, meaning that the person who initially made the complaint which is the lady – might feel like already we are taking sides with the diseased. We are very much worried when we hear he was falsely accused because as the police there’s nothing formal on our side. We have opened an inquiry after the female learner reported the matter to the police and an inquest on the side of the male learner.”
[COMING UP] The community of Kriel is expected to march to Kriel Hoerskool as they demand #JusticeForBafanaSithole , a grade 11 learner who hanged himself after a disciplinary hearing into a rape allegation leveled against him by a fellow learner#UpdateAtNoon #SABCNews pic.twitter.com/0F1wEBfiSP
— #UpdateAtNoon 104-107fm 📻 (@UpdateAtNoon) November 21, 2022