Appeals for more classrooms and scholar transport at funeral of Limpopo learners

Teachers and learners have used the funeral service of four grade eleven learners at Jim Chavani High outside Malamulele in Limpopo to request Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to construct enough classrooms and provide scholar transport.
Six learners died on Friday last week after a bakkie they hitchhiked a lift from school crashed into a house at Ximixoni village.
Four of the deceased are being buried today. The school has 2 700 learners and 26 classrooms. More than one thousand mourners, including Motshekga and learners in their uniforms, are attending the funeral service. Congress of South African Students (Cosas) Secretary in Limpopo, Abishel Ntshweng, said the learners would have not been hitchhiking if they had proper scholar transport provided.
“They must take education as an imperative in all communities in the country. Hitchhiking of students and learners is not something safe. That is why we are pleading with the Department of Basic Education to provide us with scholar transport,” said Ntshweng.
The six learners, who died, are aged between 16 and 17. One female learner, Nhlaluko Maluleke, and five male learners; Themba Nyambi, Tommy Nkanyani, Vukosi Ringani, Freedom Rihlampfu and Vuxaka Chauke, all died.
Local chief, Hosi Thomas Malulele urged parents not to allow minors to drive vehicles. “What happened in the community is heartbreaking. The fact that the learners had to hitchhike for a lift from another minor. That boy was speeding and he did not have a driver’s license. The vehicle overturned and parents give their children cars who don’t even have driving licenses.”
Limpopo Education MEC Polly Boshielo and Social Development MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale visited the school earlier this week to pay condolences.
Boshielo says her department is awaiting a full report. She wished the learners who are recovering in hospital a speedy recovery.
“We would have loved to have seen them finishing their school and be something in life, but God’s will happened and may the learners rest in perfect peace. For those learners who are in hospital, I will arrange with the MEC of Health and MEC for Social Development, we will make time to go and also check them. The principal went to check them. He will give us a report. I am saying to them that they must get well soon and come back to school,” said Boshielo.
A local headman, Livingstone Magomani, says the whole community is deeply touched.
“We’re very very disappointed about what happened. I was near the scene where it happened. We’re very, very sad about what happened. It is very difficult to accept (this) because like what happened, we’re not used to it and the people who died there are young people – the future,” said Magomani.

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