THE Rooikop Intermediate School, located on a farm outside the town of Warden, is mourning the death of a grade 2 learner who died in a horrific road accident last Monday (01/08). The learner has been identified as Sihlesithe Mhlambi. He was part of a group of 21 learners who were travelling from the Rooikop School to the Warden township of Izenzeleni. The group included the learners in grade R, 3 and 7 to 9. The accident reportedly happened during the afternoon. The survivors were treated for injuries at three hospitals: Dihlabeng and Phekolong in Bethlehem as well as Manapo in Phuthaditjhaba, Qwaqwa. The deceased Sihlesithe has been described as a bright and hard-working learner by his teacher Grace Mashinini. She said the deceased was performing well in all subjects. Howard Ndaba, department spokesperson, said the department would deploy social workers and psychologists to offer counselling to learners and teachers at the affected school. He added that the acting district director and other senior officials had visited the school and will monitor progress of the learners in hospitals. The Free State MEC for Education Pule Tate Makgoe has conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. “On behalf of the Free State Department of Education, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to not only the family of the deceased learner, but also to the teachers and the entire community of the Rooikop School,” said Makgoe.