Father seeks the truth after son loses legs

2011-10-19 08:42

The father of a five-year-old boy who lost both his legs when a tree fell on his container classroom in Alexandra believes people are not telling him the truth about what happened to his son.

Kenneth Wynne (43) said his son Lewis told him repeatedly in hospital: “Dad, call the doctor so he can bring my legs and we can go home.”

Lewis was trapped under a tree that fell on to his classroom at the Carter Primary School in Alexandra. Workers had apparently been trying to remove the tree during school hours but when they couldn’t chop it down, decided to hollow it out and make a fire inside so it could fall over by itself.

The tree fell on the Grade 0 classroom. Lewis’s classmates and teachers could get away in time but he was trapped under the tree.

‘It was horrible’

“The principal took my son to the Sandton Mediclinic and I arrived shortly afterwards. It was horrible. My son had already lost parts of both legs,” said Wynne.

He told reporters that he believed people who knew what had happened were not telling the truth. “I’m not sure what happened and I would like to know. The school principal won’t tell me how my child lost his legs.”

“He is not telling me the truth and everyone’s stories are different,” said Wynne. “Lewis understands what has happened and realises that he will never again be able to run or walk. It’s terrible. We can’t handle it,” said Wynne.

Lewis was later transferred to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, where he remains.


Carter Primary School principal Gasen Naicker said he was not allowed to talk to the media. Gauteng education department spokesperson Charles Phahlane said they were very worried about Lewis’s welfare and sent condolences to him and his family.

He said the department wanted to speed up the legal aspects of the case so that the child could receive the necessary care and support after he is discharged from hospital.He said the department had appointed an independent legal firm to investigate the circumstances around the accident.

“If a negative finding is made about state accountability, then the department will speed up the case in a humane and sensitive way in favour of the child,” said Phahlane.

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