We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

'We are under siege': four pupils die and two raped in a single week

'We are under siege,' says Panyaza Lesufi after four pupils died and two were raped in one week at Gauteng schools.
'We are under siege,' says Panyaza Lesufi after four pupils died and two were raped in one week at Gauteng schools.
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Theana Breugem

It's been a hard week for the Gauteng education department.

In the past week, four pupils have died, two have been raped, several injuries at schools have been reported and motor accidents have been recorded.

Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said the deaths and incidents occurred in different schools across the province.


  • Mabona said a grade 3 pupil at Radineo Primary School in Mabopane was admitted to hospital after vomiting in class but, unfortunately, was certified dead on arrival.
  • On the same day, a grade 8 pupil at Bophelong Secondary, was confirmed dead with circumstances unknown but being investigated by police.
  • At Belvedere Special School, a pupil died after allegedly consuming poison at home shortly after getting back from school. .
  • On Wednesday, a grade 1 pupil at TN Kudube Primary in Hammanskraal died after a goalpost collapsed on the boy who then struggled to breath. He was taken to Jubilee Hospital, and later died.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi sent condolences to the bereaved families.


Other incidents

Mabona said the department had received reports on different unfortunate incidents some of which were not reported on time.

  • Last month, a gate fell on pupils, leaving three injured at Rivoningo Primary School in Soshanguve. The pupils were taken to a local hospital and discharged after receiving medical attention.
  • On Tuesday, a female pupil was raped after school while waiting for transport home at Tshepisong Primary School. The circumstances were being investigated and support was being provided to the learner.
  • Mabona said video footage of a bullying incident at Nirvana School in Lenasia was brought to their attention on Tuesday. He added investigations were under way.
  • Meanwhile two pupils who were caught fighting at Lantern School, were injured and subjected to a disciplinary process.
  • At Mayibuye Secondary School, a 57-year-old teacher was allegedly assaulted by two parents with sjamboks in full view of pupils. “Regrettably, a 57-year-old female educator has not been able to report for duty since Wednesday, February 5 2020 due to trauma,” said Mabona.
  • On Wednesday, four pupils who were involved in a fight at Roodepark High were issued with letters to appear before a disciplinary committee.
  • On the same day, a car knocked down a wall at Lamontagne Primary School and injured two pupils who were taken to a local hospital and later discharged.
  • Mabona said the department received a report of a 12-year-old pupil from Umzamo Primary school who was raped by an unknown man on her way back home. The scholar transport bus broke down and pupils had to walk home.