MEC saddened by death of Grade 1 Gauteng learner

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane has expressed devastation at the death of a Grade 1 girl learner who passed away after allegedly consuming biscuits from a local spaza shop.

In an incident that took place on Tuesday, it is alleged that the learner from Mandlethu Primary School in Tsakane, Brakpan, began experiencing health complications in class just before break at 11am and started vomiting a few minutes later. 

According to the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), the learner’s parents were contacted immediately to come to the school, while emergency services were also alerted to provide the necessary medical assistance.

“Unfortunately, the learner was certified dead by paramedics upon arrival. According to information at our disposal, the parents confirmed that the child had consumed biscuits which were bought from a local spaza shop owned by foreign nationals,” the GDE said. 

Police are investigating circumstances surrounding this incident, while the department’s Psycho-Social Support Unit has been deployed to provide trauma support and counselling to all affected individuals.

“We are deeply saddened by this unfortunate incident.

“We plead with parents to be vigilant concerning the edible goods that their children consume. We call upon law enforcement agencies and municipalities to be more stringent on compliance matters related to spaza shop products. Indeed, we wish to extend our sincerest condolences to the family and the school community at large,” MEC Chiloane said. –