Learners who drowned at Centurion Camp laid to rest in Tembisa

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The two learners who drowned during a discipline camp at Rock Falls Adventure Ranch in Centurion on Monday last week have been laid to rest in Tembisa.

Siphamandla Peterson and Sibusiso Sibiya were part of a group of 90 learners from Daveyton Skills School, who went on a school camp that was not authorised by the Department of Education.

Their families say they want those responsible for their children’s passing to be held accountable.

Family members, school learners, and friends could not hold back their tears as they bid farewell to their loved ones. They have described the deceased as humble young men who spent some of their spare time in church.

Siphamanda’s grandmother, Nomusa Mathebula, says they are not coping and are not happy about how their children lost their lives, and will not rest until those responsible are held accountable.

“We are so hurt by the way things happened at school, we also want the MEC to investigate as he said when they came to pay homage to the families. We are not happy; justice must be served for these children.”

Sibusiso’s uncle, Siyabonga Sibiya says the learner’s mother is in a terrible state and will need help to deal with her loss.  “My sister is in a terrible condition. I think my sister will need help after this burial.”

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane has since appointed a team to investigate the matter and says they have no such thing as a discipline camp, and that the role of the school is to educate children not discipline them.

“We have already served one educator with a letter but because of labour law we have to follow processes because we don’t want to come as victimising one of the individuals within the department.”

He says the department aims to strengthen the provincial education gazette to ensure safety for learners. “In terms of protocol, we are looking into strengthening the gazette. There are areas of concern, I have also gone through it and found that the act has loopholes.” -Reporting by Monique Lewis