The Gauteng Department of Education Spokesperson, Mr Steve Mabona has confirmed that Kaalfontein Primary School in Midrand, Johannesburg, has tragically lost two learners, both in the foundation phase.
Mabona says, “MEC, Mr. Panyaza Lesufi, is shocked to learn about two more tragic learner deaths of a Grade 1 boy and Grade 2 girl from Kaalfontein Primary School and a one year old non-schooling girl child that were all siblings and unfortunately passed away on Tuesday, 31 May 2022.”
He goes on to add, “According to information at our disposal, while children were at school, the grandparent of the three (3) deceased children sprinkled meat with rat poison and placed the container on top of the refrigerator with an intention to, later at night, entrap rats in the house and left for church.”
He further explains, “Back from school, learners gained access to their grandmother’s rat bait and consumed it. Upon arrival from church, the grandparent found the children watching TV, until she realized that the container she left on top of the refrigerator was now in the sink. When probing the situation, they confirmed that they gained access to the poisoned meat and ate it. She immediately gave them milk, and they started complaining about stomach cramps, they were rushed to a medical facility and certified dead on arrival.”
“We wish to convey our sincerest condolences to the family, and the school community,” MEC Lesufi said.
Mabona says that the Gauteng Department of Education has dispatched its Psycho-Social Support Unit to the school to offer counselling to the school. The services have also been offered to the bereaved family.