Sudden death of Haythorne pupil during rugby practice shocks school

2017-03-31 14:58
Haythorne Secondary School pupil Awande Mkhize (16), who died while playing rugby.

Haythorne Secondary School pupil Awande Mkhize (16), who died while playing rugby. (Facebook)

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Tragedy hit Haythorne Secondary School on Wednesday afternoon when one of their pupils collapsed and died while playing rugby at Alexandra High School.

Awande Mkhize (16) was declared dead at MediClinic Hospital, said Annine Dormehl, spokesperson for ER24.

Police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese said they had opened an inquest docket to investigate the sad death of the grade 11 pupil.

The principal of Haythorne Secondary, C.L. Diaz, said he had sent a full report to the Education Department and referred The Witness to the department for further comment.

A post on the school’s Facebook page reflected their sadness at the sudden death of Awande.

“Haythorne Secondary School extends our condolences to the family of Awande Mkhize after he collapsed during rugby practice at Alexandra High School yesterday.

“He was very popular and we are saddened and shocked by his death. May our Lord bless and comfort the Mkhize family during this time of grief. Please accept our sincere condolences.”

Dormehl said their paramedics “found the boy on the field where it is believed he collapsed during rugby practice at Alexandra High School”.

“CPR had to be performed and the patient was placed on a ventilator before being transported to Mediclinic Pietermaritzburg.

“Doctors continued resuscitating the patient at the hospital, but unfortunately nothing could be done for the teenager and the patient was declared dead just before 6 pm [on Wednesday] evening.”

The principal of Alexandra High School, Aunsha Pillay, also referred The Witness to the Education Department.

Kwazi Mthethwa, spokesperson for the Education MEC, said MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of the teenager. “The MEC sends his deepest condolences to the family, friends, fellow pupils and school.

“We contacted our sister department of Social Development to provide counselling to all pupils who were affected.

“We will allow the family time to inform all the other family members. We prefer to give them space for now.”

A close source said that Alexandra High and Haythorne Secondary had held regular rugby practice sessions together for around two years.

“The pupil literally collapsed. First aid was immediately carried out with CPR being administered.

“Within 10 minutes the ambulance was there and the paramedics took over.

“It’s extremely sad. Counsellors from the Department of Education were at both schools to assist the children early [on Thursday].”

The source said no one knows yet what caused Awande to collapse.

“The doctors did everything they could. They said they have to investigate further to see what happened to him.”

A friend who asked not to be named said that Awande had been very passionate about rugby.

“Awande was well respected and there was never a negative thing said about him. He loved school. His fellow rugby players were his friends. They are going to miss him terribly.”

People on Thursday took to Facebook to remember Awande and express their sadness.

Alec Green: Condolences to his family. I gave him the name teddybear because he was always so pleasant and well-mannered. He was a good ambassador of his family and the values he was taught at home. Rip Awande I will miss you.

Veronica Mohlomi: RIP brother

Theres Pottier: May the angels welcome you into paradise. prayers to the family

Tracey Lee: Gerrard RIP young man?? love and prayers to his family and friends.

Linda Chetty: Condolences to the family. Too sad. Rest in peace.

Lyn Singh: RIP young man, condolences to his family.

Shannon Elliot: Truly sad. Sincere condolences to his family.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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