The Gauteng Education Department has reported that a total of 20 pupils lost their lives since 16 January. According to an online news site, TheSouthAfrican.com, the information was confirmed by Gauteng Education Department spokesperson Steve Mabona.
On Friday 28 February, a Grade 8 pupil at Sebetsa-O-Tholemoputso High School in Soweto Zweli Dube, was killed by thunder strike on his way home from the school.
Also, on Monday 3rd of March, Fana Khoele, 54, a principal of Zweli’s school, collapsed and died at his home.
In another incident on Monday, a scholar transport driver was shot and wounded in full view of pupils in Benoni. Mabona said the driver was transporting pupils from Msholozi informal settlement when the incident occurred.
“The driver had delivered learners to other schools and was completing his last stop at Etwatwa Secondary School in Wattville. While seated in the bus, an unknown man approached and shot three times at the bus, with one shot hitting the driver above his right eye,” Mabona said.
The department believed the incident was linked to “simmering tensions” between itself and the Benoni Taxi Association, as owners were not pleased with the department’s provision of scholar transport in that area, said Mabona.
“We have called upon the police to assist in securing our learners’ buses and patrolling to be done at drop-off points. We will also explore the facilitation of a community meeting this evening to pave a way forward,” he added.
In a separate incident on Thursday 27 February, the spokeperson said that a 13-year-old pupil from Springs Boys’ High School committed suicide at home.
“It is unknown why the boy, who stayed with his grandfather, decided to take his own life. Our psycho-social unit is supporting the school and family with the necessary counselling,” he said.
Also on Thursday, a Grade 9 pupil from Suncrest High School in Vanderbijlpark was knocked down by a car and had to be airlifted to Union Hospital in Alberton.
“We take this time to send our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and school community. No words are enough to express our sorrow at the loss of a child. We hope that the family will find comfort in the knowledge that we, too, share their loss,” said Lesufi, Gauteng MEC for education.
Other cases of recent deaths of school kids in Gauteng happened through drowning and murder.