Gauteng education MEC Lesufi saddened at fourth death in Driehoek High School tragedy

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JOHANNESBURG, February 3 – Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has expressed sadness at the death of a fourth Driehoek High School pupil following the collapse of a concrete walkway at the Vanderbijlpark school on Friday morning.

“The fourth child died last night [Saturday], 2 February 2019, at a local hospital. His condition was worrisome, as he went in and out of theatre on several occasions. Unfortunately, he succumbed to serious injuries,” Lesufi said in a statement on Sunday.

The school leadership would visit the family on Sunday. More information on memorial services and funerals would be communicated in due course.

On Saturday, the Gauteng education department said the national labour department had taken over the school to conduct a structural assessment. According to available information at that stage, 20 pupils were still receiving medical attention at different hospitals. An inquest case was being investigated by police regarding the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

“The school has been taken over by the department of labour, and as such, no unauthorised person will be allowed on site. We further appreciate the overwhelming support received from the community and business sector. However, all support regarding structural rehabilitation must be channelled through the department of labour inspectors on site,” the statement said.

The labour department would conduct a structural assessment with a view to issuing an exemption report which would allow the school to use certain areas of the property. The report was expected to be issued by Monday.

“The department of education will also appoint structural engineers to conduct a structural assessment,” it said. (ANA)