Two learners at the La Rochelle Girls High School in Paarl have died within 48 hours of each other. Jade Gouws (17) allegedly died by suicide on Wednesday evening, November 11, and Zara Malherbe (17) allegedly took her own life on Friday, November 13.

“La Rochelle Girls High School is immersed in deep mourning following the deaths of two of our gr 11-learners: Jade Gouws and Zara Malherbe,” the school wrote on Facebook.

Trauma counsellors are assisting learners and staff members at the school.


Posted by La Rochelle hms/ghs, Paarl. Amptelike Fb-blad. on Saturday, 14 November 2020

Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, Western Cape Police Spokesperson said Gouws’ body was found at her home.

Malherbe was admitted to Paarl Mediclinic with a gunshot wound, and died at the hospital, according to Netwerk24.

The circumstances surrounding both deaths are still unclear and are being investigated.

RIP Jade en Zara
La Rochelle Meisiesskool

Posted by Julian Jansen – Journalist on Saturday, 14 November 2020

Western Cape Education Minister Debbie Schafer expressed concern about the incidents and urged learners who are struggling to cope emotionally to seek help.

“It is tragic that people reach the point that they see no alternative but to end their life,” she said.

“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 save schools hotline. Let us all do what we can where we can to support each other to navigate the difficulties that life throws our way”.

The school has urged anyone experiencing emotional difficulties to phone the Safe Schools Hotline at 0800 45 46 47.

Picture: Facebook/NOSS VCSV

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