Shock as two La Rochelle learners allegedly died by suicide this week

Picture: @LarriesisTops, Facebook

The community of Paarl is reeling after reports of the alleged suicides at La Rochelle Girls’ High School this week.

Die Son reported that Jade Gouws (17) died on Wednesday evening at her family home in Drakenstein. A source confirmed to the publication that Zara Malherbe (17) died on Friday afternoon.

Both alleged suicides occurred within 48 hours of one another and VOC reported that the details surrounding the tragic events are still unclear at this point.

“It is tragic that people reach the point that they see no alternative but to end their life. I urge any of our learners who are struggling to cope emotionally to reach out to their teachers who can assist in getting them the help they need or to call the Safe Schools Hotline 0800 45 46 47,” said MEC for Education Debbie Schafer to VOC.

She also said that she is distressed by the news and extended condolences to the families and the school community.

The school’s official Facebook page posted tributes to both learners and stated they are shocked and heartbroken by the news.

Counselling has been arranged, and the WCED will support the school.