The Chairperson of the Select Committee on Education, Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Elleck Nchabeleng, calls for educators who were involved in the incident where a Bhisho High School learner, Lathitha Nako, committed suicide to be held responsible.
The committee sends its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and fellow students. Lathitha is reported to have endured bullying for experiencing a calling to become a traditional healer.
Mr Nchabeleng said: “It is concerning that the educators are alleged to have suppressed Lathitha’s calling merely because the learner’s calling differed to religious beliefs they ascribed to. At school, teachers should play a role of being parents and not religious counsellors.”
Mr Nchabeleng added that the Eastern Cape authorities should leave no stone unturned in reaching to the bottom of this incident. “It is not enough to just label it bullying, this is victimisation, discrimination and labelling.”
According to Mr Nchabeleng if this incident is left unattended, it has a potential to turn people against each other. “Religious views are personal, and do not give people a right to publicly attack those who subscribe to beliefs other than those they hold,” continued Mr Ntshabeleng.
Lathitha passed away on Monday after she allegedly took poison and left a voicenote identifying the perpetrators. Mr Nchabeleng said the matter seemed to require police attention as there seems to be culpability. “May her soul rest in peace.”