Schools devastated as three principals lose their lives to Covid-19

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Wayne Sparrow. (Facebook/Crime Fighters Helderberg Basin)
Wayne Sparrow. (Facebook/Crime Fighters Helderberg Basin)
  • Three principals - two from Gauteng and one from the Western Cape - have died of Covid-19. 
  • The national Covid-19 death toll was 31 368 by Thursday. 
  • South Africa also breached the 20 000 mark for new cases identified in 24 hours. 

Three school principals have recently died of Covid-19 amid South Africa's second wave of infections.

By Wednesday, South Africa had reached a "grim milestone" when it breached the 20 000 mark for new cases identified in 24 hours, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. 

He said 21 832 new cases were identified and the total recorded death toll was 31 368.

Rekord East reported that two Pretoria school principals died of the virus – one was from an independent school in Pretoria East, Maragon Mooikloof, and another was from Laerskool Generaal Beyers in Pretoria West.

Maragon Mooikloof's Chris Zaayman, 56, reportedly died in the early hours of Tuesday.

Mentor to students and staff

In a post on the school's social media page, he was described as a "mentor to students, parents and staff".

Zaayman "believed in raising leaders that would impact the future", the post stated.

READ | Covid-19: Six nuns dead at Port Shepstone convent, 15 critically ill 

Laerskool Generaal Beyers principal George Henry Parker died on New Year's Eve after battling the virus.

Parker was the head of the school for seven years.

chris Zaayman
Chris Zaayman. (Facebook/Maragon Mooikloof)
Supplied Facebook/Maragon Mooikloof
Henry Parker. (Facebook/Laerskool Generaal Beyers)
Supplied Facebook/Laerskool Generaal Beyers
Wayne Sparrow. (Facebook/Crime Fighters Helderberg Basin)
Supplied Facebook/Crime Fighters Helderberg Basin

In a social media post, the school said Parker took the school's academic performance to the highest growth and believed in restorative discipline.

"We are deeply saddened by his passing. His spirit on the school grounds will be with us every day and we believe that, with God's strength, we will be able to live his legacy in our school and parent community. We pray that the Lord will comfort and bless the Parker family so that they will be able to cherish their beautiful memories. We greet you today, sir, rest in peace, general. You will be terribly missed, but will always be remembered," the post read.

Tried to create awareness

A Somerset West school principal, whose wife shared their Covid-19 journey publicly in the hope of creating awareness, also died.

Netwerk24 reported that 58-year-old Wayne Sparrow had stated that anybody who thought Covid-19 was just a light flu would sing another tune if they swapped places with him.

He and his wife, Yvette, would have been married for 32 years this year, but he died days before their anniversary.

Yvette was discharged from hospital last weekend.

- Compiled by Jeanette Chabalala

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