Grade 12 student

Grade 12 student tragically died following snake bite at a school camp. Image: Pixabay

Grade 12 student dies in tragic snake bite during exam camp

An grade 12 learner tragically lost her life after a venomous snake bit her at Mawewe Secondary School in Bushbuckridge during a school camp.

Grade 12 student

Grade 12 student tragically died following snake bite at a school camp. Image: Pixabay

An grade 12 student tragically lost her life after a venomous snake bite at Mawewe Secondary School in Bushbuckridge. The incident occurred during a Grade 12 camp organized to enhance exam preparation.

The Mpumalanga Department of Education expresses deep sorrow over the 18-year-old learner’s demise during Monday night’s incident at Dumphries village’s Matsavana Circuit school, according to IOL News.

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“The incident occurred at the school during a Grade 12 camp organised as part of improving the preparation of learners for the 2023 National Senior Certificate Examination,” spokesperson for the Mpumalanga Department of Education, Jasper Zwane, narrated.

Details about the snake species and the circumstances leading to the bite remain unknown. Education MEC Bonakele Majuba conveys shock and condolences to the family, school, and teachers.

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The school provides counseling for affected learners. Authorities urge the public to refrain from interfering with snakes, advising on safe behaviors in their presence.

In the event of a snake bite, capturing a photo or video aids in treatment. Arnold, a snake expert, emphasizes the importance of quick medical assistance and discourages home remedies.

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Evans advises against tourniquets or cutting around the bite, emphasizing the urgency of reaching a medical facility promptly. The African Snakebite Institute app is recommended for snakebite information and identification.

As the community mourns the tragic loss, efforts focus on preventing snake encounters and ensuring swift medical response for those affected


1. Do not provoke
Snakes usually will not attack unless they feel threatened. In the bush, wear sturdy leather shoes and stomp heavily when walking, striking with a stick on the ground in front of you to warn any reptiles you are coming—they will most likely just slither away.

Most strikes occur when snakes feel cornered or under threat, or when people accidentally step on them.

2. Be Alert

Outside, have a good look around you for snakes that may hang from tree branches or swim in water, and be careful when turning over rocks or other objects. And remember: snakes are evolved to be well-camouflaged in their environment, whether it be the desert, forest, or bush.

3. Thick, protective gloves are recommended for gardening and farming.

4. Carry a lamp at night.

5. Birds can help too. Many species possess an alarm cry to alert others to hidden danger.

6. Inside, check your bed and dark corners—snakes can enter homes in pursuit of prey, heat or water.

7. The neater your home, the more likely you are to spot an out-of-place snake. A mosquito net around your bed can be an effective snake repellent.

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  • If you or someone else is bitten, try to remember the colour and shape of the snake and seek immediate medical care at a clinic or hospital.
  • Remove any bracelets, rings, or watches that may hamper blood flow in cases of swelling.
  • Do not try and catch the snake, apply a tourniquet, cut the wound, suck out the venom, or drink alcohol or coffee.
  • Also, do not seek to inject your own antivenom, which can induce a violent allergic reaction and needs to be administered in a professional environment with adrenaline and oxygen on hand.


  • Netcare Ambulance:082911
  • ER24Ambulance: 084124
  • Poison Information Helpline: 0861 555 777
  • African Snakebite Institute: +27 82 494 2039
  • Dr P.J.C. Buys (Namibia): +264 81 127 5109