Mystery deepens over death of North West boy, 7, as family and education dept disagree over cause

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  • Seven-year-old Oboitshepo Rangwako died last week Thursday after allegedly getting into a fight at school.
  • The North West Education Department, however, says the relatively small school had no record of a fight. 
  • The inquest docket has now been changed to murder based on the preliminary post-mortem report.

The death of a seven-year-old North West boy continues to be shrouded in mystery, with his family and the provincial education department disagreeing over the cause of the tragedy.

While his family claimed that the boy had revealed that the injuries were sustained in a school fight, the department said there was no way that could be true as the school had very few pupils and had no record of the fight that was alleged to have occurred.

"For such a school, every learner gets individual attention, so there could not have been a fight that happened without a teacher's knowledge," said departmental spokesperson Elias Malindi.

North West police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said an inquest docket was first opened when Oboitshepo Rangwako, a Grade 2 pupil at Motsitle Primary School in Mamerotse village, died last week Thursday.

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However, he said, that was changed to murder following a preliminary post-mortem report.

Mokgwabone did not, however, reveal the cause of the child's death.

According to Mokgwabone, Oboitshepo allegedly arrived home on Thursday at around 14:00 with a bruised head. When his 17-year-old sister asked him about it, he said it was from a fight at school. 

Mokgwabone said:

Upon being questioned, he allegedly indicated that he had a fight with other learners at school. He then went to sleep. The sister allegedly went to check on him later and tried to wake him up, but he did not respond. She ultimately called her mother who works in Rustenburg.

The boy was taken to Tlaseng Clinic where he was certified dead on arrival.

Malindi, however, said the school had no record of any fight or incident taking place. Motsitle, he said, was a very a small school with 165 pupils and that no one had any knowledge of a fight at school.

"The person who transports the child home said that the child was well when he got onto the bus. Even when he dropped him off at home, he was fine, so we don't know what happened," he said. 

Malindi said that the school's principal had visited the family to offer condolences and were awaiting police investigations to shed more light on the situation. 

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