Dept to probe pupil's 200m fatal fall

2013-09-10 19:02

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Graskop - The Mpumalanga education department is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a pupil who fell 200m off a cliff at the Three Rondawels, near Graskop.

Thulani Sithole, 18, from Nyamande High School in Thulamahashe, fell during a school trip on Saturday.

His body was recovered on Sunday.

Department spokesperson Jasper Zwane said it was investigating reports that alcohol might have been involved, a Sapa correspondent reported.

"We strongly condemn the use of alcohol and drugs in school premises or during school outings. We are planning to work with the justice enforcement departments to crack-down on learners or teachers who disregard rules," Zwane said on Tuesday.

"We will wait for a report from the team of investigators. It will probably direct us on whether to take action or disciplinary measures."

Zwane said that according to regulations governing South African schools, "no learner, teacher, parent or any other person should possess or use alcohol during any school activity".

He said those who noticed any illegal activities involving pupils or teachers, should immediately report them to the department or to the police.

"We will also intensify the safe and caring schools campaign to help learners understand the dangers of using drugs and alcohol at an early age," Zwane said.

Police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi said the police could not speculate about whether alcohol was involved in the incident.

An inquest docket had been opened.

"We suspect that he hit the rocks when he fell, because we found that he had broken bones and a cracked skull. That's what we can confirm for now. We are also still waiting for post mortem results," Hlathi said.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  education

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