Cape Town – The mother of a North West learner, who drowned during an educational seminar at a hotel near Rustenburg on Saturday, is reportedly demanding “answers” following her son’s tragic death.
The mother claimed that pupils had told her a different version to what authorities told her regarding her son’s death.
Amohelang Mokoena from Michael Modisakeng Secondary School was reportedly among 92 boys who attended the seminar aimed at empowering boys.
The department alleged that the deceased disappeared while the group was playing soccer.
“The seminar was attended by 92 boys from Moretele and Madibeng subdistricts. In the morning the learners were engaging in different indoor activities and during lunch they were given time to play soccer. It is alleged that the deceased disappeared without anyone noticing and went on to jump into the swimming pool,” the department spokesperson, Elias Malindi was quoted as saying.
Amohelang’s mother, Nthabiseng Mokoena said she received a call from the school informing her they were going to fetch her because her son had been injured, reported TimesLIVE.
She said she was hopeful when the school told her an ambulance had been called but that hope was snatched from her when she saw the hearse.
“When I saw the hearse something in me died … I still can’t believe my sweet boy is gone,” the report quoted Nthabiseng as saying.
Although the department alleged that Amohelang disappeared alone, the mother claimed that some pupils told her that Amohelang did not disappear alone but was with other boys whom he swam with.
“I don’t know what happened and I have no-one to blame at the moment because I was not there. I need answers. He was apparently with his friends and they were swimming when the others got out and he didn’t. He was able to swim; it wasn’t the first time he was in the water.
“What the children said is different from what the elders are telling us. The teachers say the pupils dodged them. But normally they would have supervised and monitored the children. It doesn’t sound like they were under supervision,” Nthabiseng was quoted as saying.
According to News24, North West Education MEC, Mmaphefo Matsemela conveyed her condolences to the school and the family, saying that “this unfortunate incident came unexpectedly”.
She said the grade 10 and grade 11 boy learners attended the peer education seminar aimed at empowering boys to be responsible adults.
“Now, seeing the seminar ending like this, is truly devastating,” said Matesemela.
Matsemela said the pupil’s peers would be provided with psychosocial support before they return home.
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe