Families of deceased students hurt by Facebook photos

27th November 2015


By Yvonne Mooka -

Facebook users are urged to be sensitive when it comes to posting photos of dead people before their families have been informed. This follows a recent horrific incident involving a truck accident that killed seven Matsha College students and left others in a critical condition.

The Midweek Sun team visited the families of Irene Molebeledi and Neo Kelaotswe in Sorilatholo and Mantshwabisi respectively and both families narrated how Facebook was adding salt to their injuries. Molebeledi’s aunt Tshokologo Molebeledi said her children were constantly showing her what users of social network, Facebook, were regularly posting about the victims. Fighting back the tears, she said the first pictures posted, which showed the scene of the accident was very painful.

Molebeledi’s family described her as an intelligent girl who had the potential to change her mother’s disadvantaged background. The 19 year-old had obtained an impressive B at Junior Certificate level. For 20 year-old Kelaotswe who was buried a day after her birthday, her uncle Ofentse Kelaotswe said she was an obedient child.

At the time of her premature death, she is reported to have been trying to make amends after surviving years of experimenting with challenges of teenage life. “She was ready to use her second chance from God wisely and with purpose and determination,” said her proud uncle, adding that Kelaotswe wanted to be a pilot or doctor. She is survived by her two year-old daughter.

Meanwhile, the Kelaotswe family also expressed deep sorrow at the way Facebook users were worsening their pain by posting photos of the scene and false information. Speakers at both funerals encouraged the families to depend on God for answers and comfort. Families expressed heartfelt support to President Ian Khama for his support by giving them resources and emotional support. They appealed to dissenters not to use their children’s deaths to cause divisions in the country.

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