Two siblings died in Katlehong‚ Gauteng‚ and a third was hospitalised after experiencing stomach cramps and nausea.
It was not immediately known what caused their illness.
Gauteng department of education spokesperson Steve Mabona said they were saddened about the deaths of the two boys on Tuesday. They were from the Kumalo Primary School. They were just seven and 10 years old.
“It is alleged that‚ while in the classroom‚ the Grade 4 learner complained of experiencing stomach cramps and being nauseous. The learner was taken to the local clinic. Subsequently‚ the Grade 1 learner also complained of similar symptoms as the older sibling and was also rushed to the local clinic. Both learners complicated and were unfortunately certified dead upon arrival at the clinic‚” said Mabona.
The school sent a teacher to inform the family about their condition and saw a five-year-old boy at the family home with similar symptoms.
“The five-year-old sibling was also rushed to the clinic‚ subsequently transferred to Thelle Mogoerane Hospital for urgent medical attention. He is in a critical but stable condition.”
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi appointed an independent team to investigate the deaths. The department is providing counselling and pastoral care.
“We hope that the family will find comfort in the knowledge that we too share their loss. No words are enough to express our sorrow at a loss of a child‚” Lesufi said.
He will visit the school and the family of the learners who died on Wednesday.
Police are investigating the deaths.