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‘Protect kids with utmost care’: Ramaphosa mourns 12 Gauteng learners killed in fatal school transport crash

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IOL NEWS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed “deep” sadness over the death of 12 learners from Rocklands Primary School and Laerskool Blyvooruitsig in Carletonville.

“The loss of such young lives at the start of a new school term touches all of us as a nation,” said Ramaphosa.

“We wish the affected families and school communities the best as they mourn the passing of children who have been deprived of fulfilling their potential and spending their lives with families and friends.”

The learners died in a road incident in the Merafong City municipal area on Gauteng’s West Rand on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa sent condolences to the families, friends, fellow learners and educators of the deceased children.

The president also wished a speedy and full recovery to the seven learners who suffered injuries in the incident which involved a scholar transport vehicle and a Ford Ranger bakkie.

“This tragedy, which regretfully is not the first of its kind to confront us, demands that that we exercise our obligation to protect our children with the utmost care,” he said.

Twelve learners and their scholar transport driver died in a tragic accident involving a Ford Ranger bakkie, causing the the learners mini bus to overturn and burst into flames. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

IOL reported on Wednesday that Gauteng MEC of Education, Sport, Arts, Culture, and Recreation, Matome Chiloane urged parents to check the condition of the scholar transport used by their children, following the crash.

Gauteng MEC of Education, Sport, Arts, Culture, and Recreation, Matome Chiloane. File Picture: Timothy Bernard/Independent Media

The learners, 11 from Rocklands Primary School and one from Laerskool Blyvooruitsig in Carletonville were involved in the collision. Seven other learners are receiving urgent medical treatment.

Speaking to the media at the crash site, Chiloane encouraged parents across the province to inspect the condition of vehicles used to transport their children to school.

“This transport is the agreement between parents and the transport provider, and what I always urge parents to do is that, we must look at the conditions the vehicle is transporting your children, the number of children that have taken this private particular transport,” Chiloane told the media.

Twelve learners and their scholar transport driver died in a tragic accident involving a Ford Ranger bakkie, causing the the learners mini bus to overturn and burst into flames. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

“I stopped one (scholar transport) in the area of Motsweding with about 45 children, and I asked myself, when this person (driver) keeps on putting into this taxi what are they saying? Because everybody needs to play a certain responsibility so that we get this.”

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