Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

28 March 2022

A Grade 10 and Grade 12 learners from Hoerskool Birchleigh lost their lives during a school trip in Durban on Sunday, 27 March 2022.

It is alleged that the two boys drowned at the beach.

“It’s disheartening that a positive sporting school trip that our learners passionately participated in ended in such a tragic manner.

“We convey our most heartfelt condolences to the two affected families and the school community at large,” Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said.

According to the Gauteng Education Department, the school was in Durban from 24 March 2022, where learners were taking part in a rugby tournament and were arranged to return on 31 March 2022.

The learners and some teachers went swimming at Durban North beach on Sunday, 27 March 2022 in the morning, where some learners were reportedly assisted to shore by lifeguards after experiencing problems.

When the learners were later on head-counted, it was noticed that two learners were missing.

All learners were accompanied back to the living quarters while the teachers continued to search for the two missing learners.

The search went on until the evening with no success, and a case a missing persons was opened at Durban Central Police Station.

On Monday, 28 March 2022, the educators were informed that the bodies of two boy learners were discovered about 2 kilometers north of the beach from where they went swimming on Sunday.

The deceased learners are from Birchleigh and Tembisa respectively.

Police are currently investigating circumstances surrounding the incident.

The department’s Psycho-Social unit has been consigned to counsel the school community of Hoerskool Birchleigh and the respective counselling will continue until the learners return from Durban.