Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Thursday said he was saddened by the deaths of two pupils who passed away on Wednesday in separate incidents.
It’s understood that an 18-year-old grade 12 girl pupil at Sekanontoane Secondary School in Soweto died after struggling to breathe while at school.
“According to information at our disposal, this unfortunate incident occurred around 7.45am. The learner reportedly arrived at school and attended her class that morning, but she suddenly ran out of the class to the water tap while struggling to breathe.
“Subsequently, 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. The clinic staff tried to assist the learner, but they realised she needed further medical treatment.
“The learner was then transferred to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for further medical attention. Unfortunately, the learner passed away in the afternoon,” said Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona in a statement.
Mabona said the department’s psychosocial unit was deployed to visit the school on Thursday to provide the necessary counselling.
17 year old takes his own life
Another pupil, a 17-year-old boy from the Dominican School for the Deaf in Hammanskraal died by suicide.
It is reported that the pupil hung himself after a love quarrel with a 17-year-old pupil at the same school.
“The boy learner 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 untied him and let him down before calling for assistance.
“Paramedics arrived within 10 minutes, but declared him dead on the scene. Our psychosocial unit rendered necessary support and debriefing at the school to all those who were affected,” Mabona said.
Lesufi conveyed his deepest condolences to the families of the pupils.