Teen commits suicide ‘over Christmas present’

Hangman Noose

Hangman Noose

Family members tell police they know he killed himself because they could not afford the present.

A 16-year-old orphaned boy has allegedly committed suicide in Mpumalanga after his legal guardian told him she could not afford to buy him a pair of Palladium Boots for Christmas that costs over R1 000, police said on Sunday.

The incident happened in Phake Village in Mmametlhake, about 90km north-east of Pretoria, at the weekend. Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Nonhlanhla Kgosana said the guardian of the teenager, who is also his aunt, found his body in his room on Friday afternoon. “The body was found hanging by a rope from the rafters,” said Kgosana.

She said the teenager had allegedly been pestering his aunt for a couple of days to buy him the boots before he was found dead. “The last time his guardian and other family members saw him was on Friday morning when they had breakfast with him. He asked her to buy him the shoes again and when she said she could not afford them, he walked out of the house and vanished,” Kgosana said.

“A suicide note was not found at the scene but family members told the police they knew he killed himself because they could not afford the shoes.”

  • In Seabe Village in the same province, a 12-year-old boy drowned after falling into a water reservoir, said Kgosana. She said the boy was playing with a group of other kids on the nearby mountain on Friday afternoon, adding they all went to the reservoir. “It appeared the kids became curious to know what was inside the reservoir. They climbed the step ladder and the one who climbed first fell into the reservoir. Community members drained the water in an attempt to save the victim, but he was certified dead at the scene.” Kgosana urged parents to make sure their kids were playing safely during this festive season. Two inquest dockets have been opened for investigation.
  • A two-year-old girl died Sunday morning when she fell through the window of the eighthfloor of a block of flats in the Durban central business district. Spokesperson for ER24 Werner Vermaak said paramedics arrived at the scene and found the body of the child and her distraught mother. “The mother said the child was playing inside the flat with her other child when the incident happened, but it is not clear how she fell,” said Vermaak.

The boots he wanted:

  • Palladium Boots are sold at various stores in many upmarket areas in South Africa and abroad.
  • The boots have become popular among the youth of all genders as they are also worn by stylist groups such as the Boys of Soweto.
  • Different brands of Palladium Boots advertised by members of the public on Gumtree website cost between R750 and R1 200 a pair.


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