ALL YOUNG Brenda (17) ever wanted was to feel that she belonged.
But in her short life, all she found was rejection.
IN THE END, SHE COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
On a neatly cut out, heart-shaped piece of paper, 17-year-old Brenda Sithole apologised and explained her actions.
“I am sorry,” she wrote.
“I don’t mean to hurt anybody. I am sorry.”
Later in the note she wrote: “I felt like I did not belong here with you.”
She wrote about her big dreams, but added: “But that was not going to happen.”
Brenda was a year away from completing school but she didn’t have an ID. She didn’t even have a birth certificate.
That’s because her mother abandoned her when she was three months old to go and live with a man. Her mother died before she had registered her baby’s birth.
Her aunts and her father tried to get her birth certificate, but they only managed to trace the man for whom her mother had left a month ago.
Terry Sithole (38), Brenda’s aunt, said the lover promised to give them Brenda’s mother’s ID, death certificate and other documents.
“We needed the certificates to take care of Brenda’s identity document,” she said.
Then schools closed for the holidays and Terry’s father died.
On Monday, when schools re-opened, Brenda was forced to explain to her teachers that her ID and birth certificate were still not available because there had been a death in the family.
Terry claimed the school didn’t want to accept the explanation.
“They told her to bring her ID by Tuesday or she would be chased away,” said Terry.
That’s when Brenda killed herself, apparently by taking poison.
She was a grade 11 pupil at Thutopele Secondary School in Palm Ridge, Ekurhuleni.
Terry said Brenda came home and told her about the ultimatum from school and then did her work around the house.
“She seemed like the happiest child in the world,” said Terry.
“She said she loved us, then she cooked for us and the family was talking and laughing.”
Terry left to go home to Alberton but in the early hours of the next morning, Terry’s mother, Jane Ngoveni (74), heard Brenda screaming in pain.
The family rushed to her room and found her with foam in her mouth. They left for the clinic but she died on the way.
They did not discover the note until they got home.
The note, lying on the bed, revealed her deepest emotions.
Terry said she hoped this would not happen to other young people in the same situation.
“We accept she is no longer with us but hope her case will show the department how important their actions can be.”
Gauteng Department of Education acting spokesman, Oupa Bodiwe, said they were not aware of the matter.
“We are deeply concerned about the alleged suicide of the pupil. We have yet to receive official confirmation,” he said.
“Officials will be despatched to the school for the necessary investigation and we will be guided by the outcome.”