Pupil death toll in Gauteng rises to 24, MEC 'lost for words'

2020-03-11 08:15

The death toll of pupils in Gauteng since the beginning of 2020 has increased yet again after the Gauteng education department announced that two more pupils died.

Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department was saddened about the deaths.  

"Siyanda Ntshangase, a Grade 8 learner from Protea Glen Secondary School, passed away on 4 March. He is alleged to have suffered an extreme migraine, which then led to his death," Mabona said. 

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

Stray bullet

"Sinesipho Mangaliso, a Grade 5 learner from Zenzeleni Primary School in Alexandra, passed away on 6 March. It is alleged she was dining with her family at home, when a stray bullet hit her and sadly [led] to her tragic death.  

"We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the families and school communities who have been severely affected by the deaths of these two learners," Mabona said. 

READ | 'Lost for words' - Lesufi distraught following deaths of 2 more pupils in Gauteng

This brings the number of pupils who have died in the province since the beginning of the school year to 24.

Announcing the death of two other pupils on Friday, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was "lost for words". 

Earlier in the year, Lesufi bemoaned the fact that he had spent more time comforting grieving families than doing what his department was tasked with. 

"I can't be issuing death certificates. I need to be issuing report cards and information that builds the education system," he said. 

"We are turning our schools into mortuaries and it can't be like that. We must stop that."

Read more on:    panyaza le­sufi  |  johannesburg  |  education
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