NORTH West Education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela has set up a team to probe whether a school trip that claimed the lives of three Grade 12 learners was authorised, she said on Saturday.
“I have set up a team that is going to do the investigations that will take into consideration the question that the trip was sanctioned because there are directives that we have sent to schools since the beginning of the [Covid-19] pandemic,” she said after visiting the families of the learners.
“And some of the directives include sport activities, the extra mural activities that take into considerations the school trips.”
Three Grade 12 learners at Rethusegile High School in Lethabong north-east of Rustenburg died on Friday night when their minbus taxi overturned on the R511 road about 25km from Lethabong.
Matsemela said all school trips must be authorised by the head of department.
A group of 42 learners travelling in three minibus taxis attended the matric farewell function in Brits.
On their way back home, one of the drivers lost control of the minibus taxi and it rolled, claiming the lives of Ikageng Nkosi, 18, Tshepiso Moagi, 21, and Amogelang Diphoko, 20.
Eleven others were injured and admitted to the Brits District Hospital, where they were reported to be in a stable condition. One of the pupils have been discharged.
“We have lost as a department of education in the North West province,” Matsemela said.
“We did not expect any learner after this critical year to die at this stage, after writing the examination all of us understand that this year it has been difficult at the Grade 12…and instead of them reaping the fruits of their efforts we found today that they are no more.”
Matsemela also visited the injured learners in hospital.
According to the learners’ family they were all happy and looking forward to celebrating their last year at high school.
Joseph Nkosi, 54, describe the death of his son Ikageng, as a great lost.
“He was an obedient child, and was accepted to study at the University of Johannesburg. He wanted to be a teacher,” he said of his last born child.
Tshepiso Moagi’s sister Boitumelo Moagi said she was reluctant to allow her younger brother to attend the function.
“I did not want him to go to the function but, he told us it is the last chance for him to bid his friends and schoolmates a ‘final good bye’. He was in a jovial mood when he left,” she said.
Amogelang Diphoko was excited to be part of the trip, his sister Neo Sekano said.
“He was excited about the trip, financial challenges nearly derailed his trip but, he insisted in going whether he did not have all that was wanted for the trip. He wanted to attend at all cost,” she said.