Johannesburg - A matric pupil from St Stithians Boys' College died last week after allegedly drinking alcohol with friends as they celebrated their last day of school before final exams start.
Another teenager from the same school was taken to hospital in a critical condition after he started vomiting on Thursday.
A source said the boys went out partying and drinking after the matric valedictory assembly.
Cameron Conlon passed out while drinking with his friends but none of them noticed he had died because they were helping the friend who was vomiting, the source said.
The source said the teenagers traditionally went out to celebrate on the last day of school.
St Stithians confirmed Cameron’s death on Tuesday.
The school said the family were waiting for the results of the autopsy, which would determine the cause of death.
Principal David Knowles said Cameron had been passionate about drama and had recently received his cultural honours in the subject.
Knowles said the teenager had also received the MacNicol Prize for creativity at Wednesday night’s prize-giving. “He was fun-loving and a good friend to many. We will miss his cheerful smile and his positive attitude,” he added.
The school issued a statement in which it said: “It is with a profound and deep sense of sadness that we inform you of the passing of one of our Grade 12 students in the Boys’ College, Cameron Conlon, during the night of October 13/14.
“The St Stithians community is in mourning. We keep Cameron’s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers on this very tragic day.”
School spokesperson Lethabo-Thabo Royds said the final chapel for the matrics on Friday morning had proceeded with the blessing of Cameron’s family.
“The final-chapel ceremony is one of celebration and joy as the school bids farewell to the matrics - a time of many mixed emotions. The shock and sadness of Cameron’s death was very present during the service.”
St Stithians rector Dr Tim Nuttall said the school was “deeply saddened by the death of Cameron and we mourn with his family and friends”.
“We know that there is speculation about the cause of Cameron’s death. We request respect for the family at this time of grieving and we will issue a further statement when more information is available.”