Minister calls for investigation into death of learners

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has called for investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of the learners, Enoch Mpianzi and Keamohetswe Seboko.

Enoch, a Parktown Boys High school learner, allegedly drowned during a river rafting exercise on a school orientation camp on Wednesday in Brits, North West, while Keamohetswe was found dead at Laerskool Bekker’s Hostel Swimming pool in Magaliesburg.

The Minister said the circumstances surrounding the death of the learners must be thoroughly investigated in order to avoid similar occurrences in the future.

We also appeal for patience, and urge members of the public to refrain from speculating, as we await the outcome of the investigations into the drowning of Enoch Mpianzi and Keamohetswe Seboko. Our prayers are with the families of the deceased learners, said the Minister on Monday.

On Monday, Motshekga sent a team comprising officials from the school safety unit at the department to support and collaborate with the Gauteng Department of Education in the investigations being conducted.

The team will also assist in ensuring that the affected families are supported in these difficult times, said the Minister.

The first week of schooling was marred by various serious incidents that have resulted in the loss of lives.

Motshekga expressed condolences to the families and school communities of the deceased learners and that of the principal who was shot dead last week.

The department also noted other disturbing incidents:

The stabbing of an 18-year-old learner from Kopanelo Secondary School in North West;

The torching of Khutlo-Tharo Secondary in Sebokeng, and Tokelo High School in Gauteng;

The death of Emmanuel Tshivhase (53 years), the principal of Jabulile Secondary School in Gauteng;

The drowning of a Grade 11 learner from Mpolweni High School in Kwa-Zulu Natal, at Ballito beach.

The department said it will work with the affected provinces to ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to prevent unnecessary loss of life.

In addition, the department strongly condemned the torching of schools and theft of school property.

We have full confidence that law enforcement agencies will find and bring to book, those responsible for damages to school infrastructure. We urge communities to take back control of schools by safeguarding educational facilities, and reporting any suspicious activity at the nearest police station.

The Department of Basic Education will continue to monitor the situation, said the Minister.

Source: South African Government News Agency