Gauteng pupil death toll climbs to 18: One struck by lightning, another dies at home

2020-02-22 13:12
Funeral service of the late Parktown Boys learner Enoch Mpianzi underway at his former school Kensington High School.

Funeral service of the late Parktown Boys learner Enoch Mpianzi underway at his former school Kensington High School. (Morapedi Mashashe)

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The Gauteng school community is mourning the death of yet another two pupils - one who was struck by lightning and the other who died in his sleep - increasing the pupil death toll in the province in 2020 to 18.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi confirmed the death of the two pupils on Saturday.

The one, a Grade 4 pupil from Diepsloot, was struck by lightning and died on Friday afternoon while walking home with fellow pupils..

In a separate incident, a Grade 3 pupil from Zenzeleni Primary School in Alexandra, died in his sleep on Friday after a short illness.

"We wish to send our heartfelt condolences to both families, friends and the school community, during this time of grief. Indeed this is emotionally draining, however, we will soldier on, said Lesufi.

Since the start of the term, 16 pupils have lost their lives.

1. Enock Mpianzi

Parktown Boys' High pupil Enock Mpianzi, 13, was swept away in the Crocodile River while attending a Grade 8 orientation camp at Nyati Bush and River Break lodge near Brits in the North West on January 15.

He was last seen when a makeshift raft he and other boys were on overturned in the river, just hours after arriving at the camp. His body was discovered two days later after a search. He was laid to rest on February 1.

2. Keamohetswe Shaun Seboko 

On the day Mpianzi's body was found it emerged that Grade 7 pupil Keamohetswe Shaun Sebeko, 13, was found drowned in the hostel swimming pool at Laerskool Bekker on 15 January. 

3. Laticia Princes Jansen 

On January 22, the body of Grade 9 pupil Laticia Princes Jansen, 15, from Graceland Education Centre in Elsburg, Germiston, was found in the bushes.

She had been raped, stabbed and burnt to death. Jansen and some of her peers were allegedly left behind by the school's transport earlier that day and walked home, News24 reported.

4.  Radino Primary school pupil 

On February 4, a 9-year-old Radino Primary School pupil died at a clinic after vomiting in class. The department did not provide further details.

5. Bophelong Secondary school pupil 

On the same day, a Bophelong Secondary School pupil died. The circumstances of his death are being investigated. The department has not provided further details.

6. Belvedere Special School pupil 

A Grade 1 Belvedere Special School pupil died on February 4 when the pupil drank poison after school.

7. Kudube Primary school pupil 

A Grade 1 pupil died on February 5 after a goal post collapsed on him while he was waiting for transport. He was rushed to Jubilee Hospital, where he later died. 

8. Thutokitso Secondary School pupil 

A Grade 8 Thutokitso Secondary School pupil died after he was stabbed, allegedly by a Grade 12 Fochville Secondary School pupil on February 7. Police are investigating the incident. 

9. Oosrand Secondary School pupil 

A 17-year-old Grade 12 Oosrand Secondary School pupil died on February 8 when she jumped from a moving minibus taxi in Germiston, after fellow passengers allegedly assaulted her. Police are investigating the incident, News24 reported.  

10. Lindiwe Golelmin

Lindiwe Golemin, 8, who attended Durban Deep Primary School, drowned after she was swept away in flash floods at the Princess informal settlement in Roodepoort on February 8. 

Lindiwe died while crossing a stream near her home. Her mother Maria said she was trying to cross a makeshift wooden bridge along with her older sister when she was swept away, News24 reported. 

11. Tharabollo Secondary school pupil 

A Grade 11 pupil at Tharabollo Secondary School in Vereeniging apparently committed suicide by drinking poison at home on February 9. She was rushed to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, where she was certified dead on arrival.

12. Kelebogile Reuben Molopyane 

Grade 10 pupil Kelebogile Reuben Molopyane, 16, died on February 11 after he fell from the third floor of Ferndale High School following an epileptic seizure, News24 reported. 

13. Lenogang Thokwane Mphahele  

Grade 6 pupil Lebogang Thokwane Mphahlele, 11, from Raikana Primary School died on February 11 after she was hit by a car driven by a teacher from Arethabeng Primary School. Her funeral is scheduled to take place on February 23. 

14/15. Madibatlou Middle School

Two pupils died when a taxi that was transporting them to Madibatlou Middle School in Olifantsfontein was involved in an accident.

16. Freedom Park

A 14-year-old Freedom Park Secondary School pupil was stabbed to death on Thursday, allegedly by a fellow Grade 10 pupil after school. The incident occurred near their homes.

Read more on:    education department  |  gauteng
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