The Police have opened a case of inquest after two learners enrolled at Lekgolo Primary School were allegedly killed when a wall collapsed on them yesterday (Wednesday). The two Grade R learners were identified as 7-year-old Sello Fortunate Mohale and 5-year-old girl, Rethabile Nakana.
It was learnt that the incident occurred in the morning at around 11:15 at the institution situated in Ga-Mamaila village. Provincial Police Communications Head Motlafela Mojapelo stated that the deceased and other learners were reportedly standing next to the wall when the trailer of a truck delivering food as part of the school feeding scheme crashed into the wall. A portion of the wall collapsed onto the children instantly killing Sello and Rethabile while seriously injuring three others. Mojapelo concluded by saying the circumstances surrounding the incident were being investigated.
Premier Stan Mathabatha was reportedly greatly disturbed by the news of the incident. According to Provincial Government Spokesperson Kenny Mathivha, it has been confirmed that the deceased were from the same family. The other children are in critical condition and being treated in hospital.
Mathabatha was quoted to have said: “The loss of these kids is our loss. As parents we feel the pain of the parents and the community.” He called on Education MEC Polly Boshielo to make sure that investigations get underway to find out what actually transpired so that it does not happen again.
Information made available to Polokwane Observer indicated that social workers have been dispatched by the Department of Social Development and will reportedly be working with counterparts from the Department of Education to ensure that all the necessary support is given to the bereaved families, injured learners, school and the community to ensure that they cope well during this difficult period.
Boshielo took to social media to express shock after learning of the gruesome incident on the same day as she wrote: “What a sad day. I had to rush to Lekgolo Primary School to understand what happened.” She added that she had gone I to the family and also spoke to the principal and educators. The mother and grandmother of the deceased had been admitted at the clinic and Boshielo stated that she had also been to see them as well as addressed members of the community who were at the gate of the school. “The police are investigating the case and a suspect is in Police custody,” according to Boshielo.
She went on to appeal to everyone to be calm and respect the family of Mogale in their grief. According to Boshielo, the family requested that the death of their children be handled with the sensitivity and the dignity that they deserve.
Boshielo concluded her statement by confirming that no school building or structure was involved during the incident.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI