Tragic start to school term, a

Image via Twitter: Panyaza Lesufi

Tragic start to school term, as another pupil drowns in Magaliesburg

The death of a 13-year-old pupil from Laerskool Bekker is the latest tragedy to strike this term.

Tragic start to school term, a

Image via Twitter: Panyaza Lesufi

The school year has gotten off to a dreadful start for the Gauteng education department, with the death of two learners in less than a week.

Shaun Seboko, a 13-year-old pupil from Laerskool Bekker in Magaliesburg was found dead in the school’s hostel swimming pool, on Wednesday, 15 January 2020.

“It is once again disappointing that we only received the information in the late afternoon, 17 January 2020. According to information at our disposal, police attended the scene and are investigating the circumstances surrounding this sad incident”, said Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

“We are informed that, the Psycho Social Unit team based at the school hostel was available to assist learners with counselling until late that evening. Accordingly employees were also briefed on Thursday, 16 January 2020”, the MEC said in a statement on Friday evening.

This has been a bad week for us in education – Lesufi

The MEC has also expressed condolences to the family of the student and said the school would be receiving counselling for the incident.

“We wish to convey our sincere condolences to the family and assure them, that they are in our prayers during this time of mourning. Indeed this is a bad week for us in the education sector. We can’t find words to comfort these families, who lost their children under our care”, Lesufi said.

The incident comes after another learner died in school territory – 13-year-old Enock Mpianzi, a Parktown Boys’ High student. The boy’s body was discovered on Friday after he had gone missing during an orientation camp near Brits in the North West.

Mpianzi was reportedly last seen on Wednesday during “water activity” near a river at the camp site, however the department was only notified on Thursday that he was missing.

The department has announced it will be launching its own investigation into the matter, in which they will determine who should be held accountable. The probe will also look at other factors which may have contributed to the boy’s death.

Questions have been raised over safety measures taken by the school at the camp – including having enough teachers to chaperone the outing and whether the boys wore safety gear.

“I am not aware of or I was not briefed on whether the people who assisted the children or the children themselves had life jackets. That information was not provided to me, as of now”, Lesufi said.