Legal firm to probe learner’s drowning

Gauteng Department of Education's chief director for legal services, Ntini Mashigo, and Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane.

Gauteng Department of Education's chief director for legal services, Ntini Mashigo, and Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane.

Published Jan 30, 2024


Education MEC Matome Chiloane has announced the appointment of Nchupetsang Inc Attorneys to find out exactly who dropped the ball, ultimately leading to the death of 12-year-old Latoya Temilton.

A week following the death of Temilton, a Grade 7 learner from Laerskool Queenswood, the Gauteng Education Department announced that they had appointed Nchupetsang Inc Attorneys, an independent law firm to investigate the circumstances leading to the death.

Latoya allegedly drowned while at a leadership camp held at the Wag ’n Bietjie Resort in Witkoppen.

Speaking at a media briefing at the school in Pretoria on Monday, Chiloane said the law firm had vast experience, and had most recently assisted them with a major scandal involving the selling of posts that the department were dealing with.

According to the Education MEC, the department had enlisted the law firm as they needed answers to some of the “pertinent questions” surrounding the death of Latoya.

“There are reports that have come forward from the district which obviously started from the school, but there are areas where we feel we need more answers around the pool and what happened in the pool.

“For instance, when children go on a trip, obviously there’s supervision that needs to be put in place, and we know that, so we need to know who didn’t do their work.

“Who moved their eye from the bouncing ball, who moved their eye from the children? Those are things we are trying to find.

“We need greater detail so that the parents along with the schooling community and the province can find closure, as this affects everyone,” Chiloane said.

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane introduced an independent law firm to the School Management Team and the School Governing Body (SGB) of Laerskool Queenswood following the tragic death of a Grade 7 learner. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

In addition to requiring the law firm to give the department a set of recommendations, of those who might be responsible, Chiloane said they wanted the attorneys to assist with mapping a way forward as to how to prevent such incidents being repeated.

This was as Chiloane stressed that the department could not “continue having incidents” where drownings were taking place during school excursions.

The drowning has caused a huge uproar, especially following allegations that the school had tried to keep the incident under wraps, even instructing parents and children not to say anything.

Cape Times

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