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EAST LONDON - The Eastern Cape education department on Wednesday, dispatched officials to assist with funeral arrangements for two deceased pupils who died in car accident while on their way to school. 

The two pupils from Mnceba Senior Secondary School in Ntabankulu died on Tuesday morning, and were part of a group of 20 travelling with privately hired transport.

Department spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima, said it was alleged that the driver of a speeding bakkie lost control of the vehicle before it overturned. 

“Police were called on the scene and a case of culpable homicide has been opened, both the deceased who are from the same family were declared dead on the scene by paramedics,” said Mtima.

Mtima said they have been rolling out a campaign that prohibits bakkies from transporting school children as the safety of children is compromised. 

Eastern Cape education member of the executive council (MEC) Mandla Makupula, said they dispatched counsellors to the school to help debrief pupils, teachers and the families. 

Makupula said the department sent a district delegation led by the district manager, to visit the the family of the two pupils who died.
 
"Learners are our national treasure, because of that, as the department we send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. We hope they will find solace in God, the Almighty during this trying time in their lives", said Makupula.

He added that officials were also sent to visit the 18 pupils who were receiving treatment at the Mount Ayliff Hospital.

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African News Agency (ANA)