File picture: ANA/Jacques Naude
File picture: ANA/Jacques Naude

Lesufi orders forensic probe into mysterious death of Carletonville pupil

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Jun 12, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education has ordered a forensic investigation into circumstances that led to the death of a 12-year-old boy who died shortly after arriving at his Carletonville school, leading to parents storming the school demanding answers.

The pupil was in Grade 7 at Kokosi Primary School in Carletonville.

It is alleged that the Youth Brigade which is stationed at the school to assist during the Covid-19 pandemic noticed that the boy was not well upon arrival on Thursday.

Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said the boy was taken to an isolation room shortly after arrival.

However, when his condition did not improve, they called his parents and rushed him to a local clinic. He was certified dead on arrival. He died in the presence of one of his parents. 

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was saddened by the child's death and asked people to stop speculating on what the cause of his death was as they were working with the department of health to investigate circumstances surrounding his death. 

“We urge the community to avoid assuming the cause of death and we must leave this matter to experts. 

"We would like to convey our sincere condolences the family and the school community. We pray for their strength during this time of grief," he said.

Lesufi and Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku will on Sunday visit the boy's family. His fellow pupils and staff will also be provided with counselling.

The Carletonville Herald reported on Thursday that community members gathered in front of the school after the boy's death, demanding answers as to what killed him.

“We want answers from the school and demand that the MEC, Mr Panyaza Lesufi, come here tomorrow. We heard that the child had a fever. We want to see the book where his temperature was recorded when he arrived at school this morning,” Luthando Mafunda, the Ward 24 ANC branch secretary was quoted as saying.

He and other upset community members allegedly demanded that the school be closed and that all staff and learners be tested for Covid-19.

In the meantime, Lesufi is currently in isolation after two employees at the department's head office tested positive for Covid-19.

Mabona said Lesufi conducted a test on Tuesday and went to self isolation.

"He is currently awaiting for his results. We wish to assure that, he’s not sick, and doing well. We will update on latest developments accordingly," Mabona said.


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