The Ferndale High School pupil who fell from the third floor of the school building on Tuesday morning has died.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi first tweeted about the incident just after 10:00, saying he had received the information from a district director.
Just before 13:00, Lesufi again tweeted: “Sadly, the boy passed on. Once more, we must go and face the family and break the news, it’s too much now. Our sincere condolences to the family and friends and learners at Ferndale High. This is the 11th death since the reopening of schools this year.”
Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said: “MEC Lesufi is distraught about another incident which led to the death of a learner at Ferndale High School.”
According to Mabona, the boy suffered an epileptic seizure and fell from a balcony at the school.
“We are at a loss for words,” Mabona said. The department’s psycho-social team has been deployed to the school.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst earlier said its paramedics had responded to the incident at 09:34.
“Reports from the scene allege that a minor male had fallen from a third-floor balcony. The school staff had provided assistance prior to the arrival of medics.”
Herbst said the boy was found in a stable condition and was treated on the scene by a Netcare 911 emergency care practitioner.
‘Started 2020 on a bad note’
“Once stabilised, the patient was transported by ambulance to hospital for further treatment.
“Circumstances leading up to the fall are not known, however, the school needs to be commended on their quick reaction to the incident.”
The boy died in hospital later, Mabona confirmed.
Lesufi has dealt with some tough challenges since the beginning of the year.
In a statement on Monday, the MEC announced the deaths of two pupils over the weekend, bringing the death toll in the province to seven, within a single week.
“Unfortunately, we started 2020 on a bad note, so many incidents which include death, bullying, violence, torching of schools and some disruptions recorded within the three weeks of schools opening on 15 January 2020. It looks like this is an indication of a hectic year ahead.
“However, we are hopeful that working with parents, we will overcome these challenges,” Lesufi told News24 in an interview over the weekend.