- The families of two Grade 10 boys who died this week have spoken out about the tragedy.
- Zukiso Majola and Njabulo Ndhlebe were apparently playing with a gun when a bullet "accidentally" killed Ndhlebe.
- In shock and panic, Majola later turned the gun on himself.
A tragic shooting that claimed the lives of two Grade 10 pupils this week was a playful incident that went wrong, their families said on Friday.
Njabulo Ndhlebe and Zukiso Majola, both 16, had been playing with a gun belonging to Majola’s late grandfather.
The third pupil who was present when the fatal incident took place was not identified to protect his identity.
On 12 January, the three disappeared from Lesiba Secondary School during a school break and went to hang out at Mojola’s home.
In a joint statement released by the two grieving families, they said that, at Majola’s home, he had shown his friends his late grandfather’s revolver.
"His deceased grandfather was fond of Majola. He had taken the gun in remembrance of his grandfather," they said.
"In an attempt to impress his friends, Majola took the unloaded revolver and loaded it. He started playing with it. The gun accidentally went off, hitting Ndhlebe behind his ear.
"In shock and panic, the unnamed third pupil bolted off to his house around the corner. Majola then ran after his friend, seeking his assistance," they said.
The gunshot and the sight of the two boys running away raised the attention of neighbours.
Residents of Chief Albert Luthuli Park came out to confront the boys.
"In panic and fear, Majola ran back to his home. He closed the garage door. He then used the same gun to shoot himself in the head in panic and fear.
"As parents of the two pupils, we are deeply saddened and are in pain by the loss of our boys. We thank the public and the community of Daveyton for all their heartfelt sympathies during this tragic time," they said.
Since the tragedy, both families have held numerous meetings and prayer sessions, which they said they would continue until the burials.
Ndhlebe, Majola and their unnamed third friend were schoolmates and best friends, the families said.
The statement read:
The families have asked for privacy to grieve the loss of their children.
The memorial service for the two boys will be held at Lesiba Secondary School on 18 January.
Police have opened a murder investigation.