Pupil killed in school stampede

2013-06-05 08:22

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Family remembers pupil killed in school stampede

2013-06-05 14:09

High school pupil Lindani Mngoma died from injuries he sustained after being trampled at his Umlazi school. His parents blame corporal punishment. Watch a video about the incident.WATCH

Durban - A school stampede, sparked by pupils fleeing from a teacher who was wielding a stick, has claimed the life of an uMlazi pupil.

The Grade 9 pupil from Velabahleke High School died of his injuries in hospital after he was flung against a wall and trampled on as pupils who had arrived at school late fled from a teacher who was chasing them.

Victor Mngoma, the father of Lindani Mngoma, 14, said his eldest child’s dream of becoming a doctor will never materialise.

Fell down stairs, trampled on

Apparently, a teacher was chasing latecomers last Tuesday morning with a stick when a group of pupils stampeded as they tried to avoid their teacher’s wrath.

But while the pupils were running, they bumped into Lindani who had arrived at school early and he was pushed against a wall and fell down the stairs, injuring his forehead.

It is also believed that in their frantic rush the other pupils trampled on him as he lay on the floor bleeding.

He was rushed to Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital by a teacher and was later transferred to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, where he died on Friday.

Lindani had an extensive head injury that doctors were contemplating operating on, before he died.

“The last few days in hospital he was complaining about having a terrible headache.”

Mngoma, 47, described his son as an “early bird” who went to school even if he was sick. Sometimes Lindani would leave his home at 06:00 to attend early lessons. “My son was very clever and he was preparing for his June exams,” he said.

The unemployed father said his son had big dreams and they were pinning all their hopes on him because he was an ambitious boy.

“We’re heartbroken because when you send a child to school you don’t expect them to be injured or even worse, die. This is scary. Schools are meant to be safe havens.”

Despite the pain, Mngoma said he is “trusting in God to bandage” their wounds. “I can’t sleep at night thinking to myself, what really happened that morning?” he said.

Investigation

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi passed condolences to the Mngoma family.

He said the department did not want to start pointing fingers, but were investigating the matter.

The department’s stance for latecomers is for schools to lock the gates, take down the pupils’ names and then send them home to come back with their parents.

“Corporal punishment is a ‘no-no’ all the time,” he warned.

The school’s principal, Mbongeni Mtshali, said he was unable to comment.

Read more on:    durban  |  education

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