Vukani Primary School in Lower Crossroads recently held a memorial service for two learners who lost their lives after their shack was gutted in a fire.
Sisipho and Sinovuyo Masitha, both six and eight years respectively, died along with four other family members.
School principal Zamuxolo Langa described the loss of the grades R and three as great.
Learners, teachers and parents joined in the memorial service, which was held last Thursday inside the premises of the school.
Langa said the news of their deaths left everybody devastated as it happened a day after the schools opened for the third term.
“We were so shocked and we did not expect such a thing. It has knocked us. Their teachers said their performance in class was good. It is the first time our school has lost children in such a tragic manner.
Usually our learners lose their belongings such as stationery and school uniforms in shack fires, but never their lives,” Langa said.
He also said this happened as teachers and learners were still coming to terms with the death of Ntombentsha Mzimasi, a teacher who died in June after a short illness.
Nokuzola Mfaxa, Sinovuyo’s class teacher, said she had high hopes about her.
“I felt a terrible pain after I learnt of her death as we visited the scene. I do not cry easily when I feel pain, but for her I could not help it.
She was one learner that did her work without problems. She was very diligent. She was my biggest hope in class and for the upcoming annual systemic tests for schools in the province.
I knew she would boost(the mark for) my class. She was always eager to help other learners to understand their work. I still call her name in class, because I was used to calling her. It is a great loss for the school,” Mfaxa said.
Anathi Mqeku, a grade three learner said Sinovuyo was a good classmate.
“We all loved her in class. She was a kind of person who would share anything with us and we also shared with her when we had something to eat,” Mqeku said.
Aunt Phumeza Mbanga said they were still in the dark as to what caused the fire.
“We are still feeling so bad about their death. We really do not know what caused the fire,” Mbanga said.
Funeral arrangements have not be made.