News24 removes video of Driehoek Hoërskool rescue effort

After careful consideration and engagement with our readers, News24 has removed a video showing the rescue efforts in the immediate aftermath of the fatal Driehoek Hoërskool concrete slab collapse. 

On February 1, a concrete slab fell on 26 pupils at the Vanderbijlpark school. Four tragically lost their lives. 

Video material captured by a Vaalweekblad reporter showed the determination of teachers, fellow pupils and parents who rallied together to free the trapped high schoolers. We published this footage in an effort to highlight their courage and unity of purpose.

“When we first saw the video, the overwhelming feeling was one of sheer awe and appreciation for the teachers, parents and pupils who were trying their best to help those who were trapped,” said Adriaan Basson, News24 editor-in-chief. 

While it was not our intention to distress viewers (including prominent warnings in the video and accompanying article), we have noted concerns over the publishing of the footage and have removed it after due consideration.

“After publication thereof, the overwhelming response from our readers was that we were furthering the trauma of the Vanderbijlpark community. After consulting our public editor, Professor George Claassen, we decided to heed the call from our readers to remove the video from our site. We apologise for furthering the pain of an already distressed community,” said Basson. 

News24 remains committed to the South African Press Code, maintaining the dignity of the people we report on and not causing undue harm to our audience.

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