Teen witch just wants to die'

Acornhoek, South Africa - A 15-year-old Limpopo girl is suicidal after being kicked out of school because teachers and pupils believe she's a witch.

The teenager from Timbavati village had tried to drink paraffin three times since being expelled.

Her grandfather, Gabriel Mbowane, said local principals, school governing bodies and education officials in the area had advised him to send her to a boarding school.

Mbowane, who lived on his pension grant said: "But, I don't have the money to send her to a boarding school."

Mbowane said his granddaughter's problems started last year when she was a pupil at Timbavati Primary School.

'Girl threatened to kill teacher'

He said: "Teachers called me to the school and said she had threatened to kill one of them."

The girl was accused of writing a letter, placing it on the teacher's desk, and telling her friends that the teacher would die if she opened it.

When confronted, the girl apparently confessed to practising witchcraft and memebers of her threatened to kill her.

She was taken out of school for her safety and had to write the end-of-year exams in seclusion.

This year, her grandfather sent her to Masingitana High School, but teachers there also allegedly refused to touch her books, while pupils had threatened to hurt her.

'At home with no future'

Mbowane took her out of school again on February 28 for her own safety.

Last week, lessons at nearby Phedulani High School were disrupted when pupils mistook a new girl for Mbowane's granddaughter.

Mbowane said: "I don't know what to do because it is clear she will never be allowed to attend school in this community. She is sitting at home and has no future."

He said the girl's mother lived with another man in a nearby village.

Freddy Greaver of the education department said he was unaware of the matter and promised to investigate.