The Gauteng education department is reeling from shock after two grade 12 pupils committed suicide last week.
MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Sunday a 19-year-old grade 12 pupil at Hoёrskool Bekker, Magaliesburg, allegedly shot himself using his father’s firearm.
“The deceased left a note which will form part of the police investigation. In another incident which happened on Thursday, a 17-year-old pupil from Phahama secondary school in Soweto hanged herself at her home after she lost her new cellphone and she was too sacred to tell her parents,” Lesufi said.
He said the psycho-social unit was dispatched to both schools to offer necessary support and counselling to all affected.
"It is unfortunate and regrettable that learners took their own lives in this manner. We take this time to send our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and the school communities during this time of grief. No words are enough to express our sorrow at a loss of our learners. We hope that the families will find comfort in the knowledge that we too share their loss,” Lesufi said.
Lesufi encouraged pupils to "focus on their education and refrain from things that may have a negative impact on their studies".