The Gauteng Education Department says it’s in no rush to stop learner excursions following the drowning of grade 7 learner from Laerskool Queenswood, Latoya Temilton, at a school excursion just over a week ago.
The 12-year-old drowned while attending a school leadership camp at Wag ‘n Bietjie resort in Olifantsfontein.
It’s alleged the pool where she was swimming had poor visibility. Her lifeless body was allegedly retrieved by two boy pupils who had been instructed by the teachers to do so.
It’s further alleged that the learners were left unattended when Temilton drowned.
The incident has triggered painful memories among South Africans following the 2022 drowning of two boys from Kempton Park’s Hoërskool Birchleigh and that of Park Town Boys’ High’s Enoch Mpianzi in 2020, sparking concerns over school excursions.
Despite this, however, Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chiloane, says school trips will not come to an end.
He says other measures must be put in place to ensure learner safety on such trips.
An independent legal firm, Nchupetsang Attorneys, has been given seven days to complete its investigations into Teminton’s death.
The law firm has been tasked with determining whether 12-year-old could swim, and if the school had knowledge of her abilities.
Speaking at Latoya’s funeral service this past weekend, her older sister painfully described her final moments.
It’s understood family members rushed to the resort following a phone-call from teachers.
Meanwhile the school, through its principal Rico Ludick, has promised its full co-operation as investigations get underway.
The legal firm is expected to interact with police for post mortem results, as well as the family, school and resort management following allegations of negligence. Article by Naomi Kobbie
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena