Monday, October 26, 2009

Suicide. NOT suffocation.

By Cassy van Eeden

Tweet: cassystars THE TRUTH ABOUT WINNIE MAROGA'S DEATH: #rublogs

“Ms Winnie Maroga, passed away on 19 October as a result of complications following respiratory failure” is what the Dean told the student body of Rhodes University last week. However, this statement is completely untrue, and it really angers me. Winnie Maroga is dead because she chose to take her own life, and not simply because of “respiratory failure”. I realise that some students may feel that my statement is brash and that it is not my right to disclose this information, but I think that it is critically important that everyone know the truth.

I know that I speak for a number of my fellow students when I say that sugar-coating the issue is wrong. I understand that, for ethical purposes, the Dean may have chosen to (at first) keep the facts under wraps, but is it not everybody’s right to know what really happened?! In fact, I think it may even be a helpful lesson on the kind of depression that students often have to deal with. Losing someone to natural causes presents an entirely different situation to that of suicide.

The truth is that Winnie was in so much pain that she could not bear to live another day. Yes, ultimately (and according to the doctor’s report) she died of respiratory failure, but all this was because she had taken steps to end her life and therefore impaired her lungs’ ability to function. Her body did not want to fight…she had already given up. It is a very sad situation, but keeping it a secret is pointless.