Tragedy has struck the Reimolotswe Primary School in Winterveld, Pretoria after a crowd of pupils reportedly fell sick.
Ambulances were called into the school premises on Thursday to attend to at least 35 learners who seemed ill and worsening by the moment.
The learners allegedly bought biscuits and snacks from tuck shops in the area and quickly started complaining of stomach aches.
The teachers got worried when a similar complaint spread among pupils and quickly called for medical services intervention.
The South African Union of Learners (SAUL) said this was as a result of gross negligence by the school, noting that it is expected to be a safe haven for learners.
Ignorance by teachers
Oratile Levuno, SAUL national secretary-general, said parents needed to be warned that children’s lives are being put in danger due to ignorance by some teachers.
“Our frustration and anger extend to the educators at Reimolotswe Primary School, who have egregiously failed us,” said Levuno.
He said it was with indignation that they condemn the shocking news from the school considering that the results were dire and risking the lives of “future leaders”.
The department of basic education in Gauteng, added Levuno, needed to highlight that it was responsible for protecting the interests of learners.
Levuno further stated that he believes that the department should have taken it upon itself to raise awareness about student safety.
“The South African Schools Act clearly outlines the responsibility of educators to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the students,” he said.
“These educators, in their negligence, have violated the trust that parents have placed in them, and have compromised the health and lives of innocent children.”
The learners’ union, he said, demands justice for all the affected learners and that those responsible should be held accountable.
There has been a trend lately across Gauteng of children suddenly falling sick and dying from consuming snacks bought from spaza shops.
Leon Jele, Neo Khang, Kwanda Mchunu, Othalive Nkatshuka, Azingce Mayeye, Palesa Kutoane, and Bohlale Kutoane have all lost their lives since the start of October.
Four more children were hospitalised.