02 March 2021
Pretoria – The Gauteng education department is mourning the deaths of two pupils who died in separate incidents on Wednesday.
In the first incident, an 18-year-old grade 12 pupil at Sekanontoane Secondary School in Soweto had to be rushed to the clinic after she struggled to breathe.
Provincial spokesperson Steve Mabona said the incident occurred at about 7.45am.
“The learner allegedly arrived at school and attended her class that morning, but she suddenly ran out of the class rushing to the water tap while struggling to breathe. The school principal contacted the learner’s parents and an ambulance to provide assistance. However, the principal resorted to urgently transport the learner to a nearby clinic in Chiawelo,” Mabona said.
He said the pupil was then transferred to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for further medical attention. “Unfortunately, the learner passed away in the afternoon,” Mabona said.
Mabona said the second incident happened at Dominican School for the Deaf in Hammanskraal where a 17-year-old pupil committed suicide.
“It is alleged that the learner hung himself after a love quarrel with a 17-year-old girl learner from the same school. The boy learner had allegedly left other learners at the dining hall and went to the junior hostel, where he took his life.
“His body was discovered by fellow learners, who allegedly untied him and let him down before calling for assistance. Paramedics arrived within 10 minutes, but declared him dead on the scene, ” Mabona said.
MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was saddened by the sudden deaths of the two pupils.
“It is very unfortunate that a learner decided to take his own life. This is a very sensitive issue to which we firstly wish to convey our deepest condolences to the family of the learner. We also wish to convey our sympathy to the school population for this loss. We would like to convey our deepest condolences to the families [of the two teenagers],” Lesufi said.
He said a psychosocial unit has been deployed to visit the schools to provide necessary counselling to all affected by the incidents.