MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi said he was saddened by last week’s death of a Hammanskraal learner and another from Soweto.
The boy, from the Dominican School for the Deaf, and the girl from Sekano Ntoane Secondary School, died in separate incidents on Wednesday last week.
Lesufi said the boy, aged 17, allegedly hanged himself after a lovers’ tiff with a 17-year-old girl learner from the same school.
He said the boy allegedly left other learners at the dining hall and went to the junior hostel, where he took his life.
His body was discovered by fellow learners, who called for assistance.
Paramedics arrived within 10 minutes at the hostel and declared him dead.
The department’s psycho-social unit will provide necessary support and debriefing at the school to all those who were affected.
Lesufi said: “It is very unfortunate that a learner decided to take his own life. This is a very sensitive issue to which we firstly wish to convey our deepest condolences to the family of the learner. We also wish to convey our sympathy to the school population for this loss.”
In the Soweto incident, the Grade 12 learner, 18, was in class at around 7.45 am.
She suddenly ran out of the classroom and rushed to the tap to drink water, saying she was struggling to breathe.
Lesufi’s spokesperson Steve Mabona said the school principal contacted the learner’s parents and an ambulance.
The principal eventually transported the learner to a clinic in Chiawelo.
Mabona said the clinic staff assisted the learner but realized that she needed further medical treatment.
She was transferred to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for further medical attention. “Unfortunately, the learner died that afternoon,” Mabona said.
The department had sent a team to the school to counsel learners affected by the tragedy.
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