Two Gauteng learners passed away on the same day, something that upset the provincial authorities.
An 18-year-old female learner from Sekanontoane Secondary School in Soweto and a 17-year-old male learner from Dominican School for the Deaf in Hammanskraal lost their lives on Wednesday.
Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson, Steve Mabona, said the girl collapsed in school while the boy committed suicide by hanging himself.
“According to information at our disposal the unfortunate incident occurred at around 07:45am. The learner allegedly arrived at school and attended her class that morning, but she suddenly ran out of the class rushing to the water tap while struggling to breath. Subsequently, the school principal contacted the learner’s parents and an ambulance to provide assistance. However, the principal resorted to urgently transport the learner to a nearby clinic in Chiawelo,” said Mabona.
He continued: "The clinic staff tried to assist the learner, but they realised that she needed further medical treatment. The learner was then transferred to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for further medical attention. Unfortunately, the learner passed away in the afternoon".
About the 17-year-old boy, Mabona said it is alleged that the learner hung himself after a love quarrel with a girl learner of the same age from the same school. The boy learner had allegedly left other learners at the dining hall and went to the junior hostel, where he took his life.
“His body was discovered by fellow learners, who allegedly untied him and let him down before calling for assistance. Paramedics arrived within 10 minutes, but declared him dead on the scene. Our Psycho-Social unit rendered necessary support and debriefing at the school to all those who were affected,” said Mabona.
Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, also expressed sadness.
“It is very unfortunate that a learner decided to take his own life. This is a very sensitive issue to which we firstly wish to convey our deepest condolences to the family of the learner. We also wish to convey our sympathy to the school population for this loss,” said Lesufi.