The South African Democratic Teachers Union has conveyed condolences to the family of KwaZulu Natal school teacher Tholakele Shandu, who died from COVID-19 complications.
Shandu, who taught at the Plattdrive Primary School in Isipingo, Durban, died a few days after she was admitted at the St Augustine Hospital died on March 31.
Her children and a close friend who had contact with her have all tested positive for COVID-19, according to health authorities.
Shandu allegedly suffered from severe abdominal pains. She was admitted for the first time around the 6th of March and spent close to two and a half weeks at the St Augustine Hospital.
She was later discharged but she fell more ill and was readmitted and diagnosed with asthma.
She passed way at the hospital on Tuesday, 31 March 2020, from COVID-related issues. Her family says she was hospitalized with an elderly patient in her ward.
Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke has urged those who have been in contact with her to go get tested in order to ensure that they did not contract the virus.
“As we mourn her death, we call on hospitals to try their best, with the limited resources they have, to also exercise social distancing on patients”, said Maluleke.
“As the COVID-19 spreads, we call on the society not to stigmatise those who are affected and infected by the virus and their families. We call on the society to educate those who are still thinking that the virus knows boundaries and conspiracy theories to abide by the rules and regulations as promulgated by the government and stay indoors.”
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said in a statement that they will ensure that the families, colleagues and classmates of the learner receive counselling.
“Losing teachers at a time like this is particularly hard when they are instrumental in ensuring that learning and teaching continue learning and teaching continue during the time of the lockdown,”, said Motshekga.
Motshekga also conveyed condolences to the Shandu family.