Pupil fatally stabbed, teacher in assault rap, mass 'poisoning': a week in Gauteng's classrooms

21 February 2020 - 12:22 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has expressed his despair at the troubles at Gauteng schools, which this week include the death of a pupil, the poisoning of 39 pupils and an assault case.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has expressed his despair at the troubles at Gauteng schools, which this week include the death of a pupil, the poisoning of 39 pupils and an assault case.
Image: Nonkululeko Njilo

A grade 10 pupil has been stabbed to death by another, a teacher has been filmed assaulting a pupil and 39 pupils were hospitalised due to suspected poisoning, all in one week.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Friday he had learnt, “with a heavy heart”, of the death of a 14-year-old boy from Freedom Park Secondary School.

“It is alleged that the boy was stabbed by another learner on Thursday, after school near their homes. Both learners are in grade 10. The suspect is on the run.”

Police are investigating the death, he said.

“We strongly condemns any acts of learner misconduct and appeal to parents in assisting to enforce discipline in and outside the school environment,” Lesufi said.

The Gauteng department of education also said on Friday that 39 pupils from Lofentse Girls Secondary School, Soweto, had to receive treatment at the Bheki Mlangeni and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals.

They had complained about stomach pains while others were vomiting after eating “space cakes” on Thursday.

Twelve are still receiving treatment.

Out of 10 treated at Bheki Mlangeni hospital, nine were discharged and one was transferred to Chris Hani Baragwanath, the department said. Of the 29 pupils admitted to Chris Hani Baragwanath, 11 are still receiving treatment.

The MEC also expressed shock at video footage allegedly showing an educator from Modiri Secondary School assaulting a pupil in the classroom.

Lesufi said he had sent officials to the school to investigate.

“I am horrified by the images on the video footage and would like to remind all teachers that corporal punishment is outlawed by the constitution and the South African Schools Act. Educators have been trained in alternative methods of discipline which ought to be applied in schools,” said Lesufi.


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