On Monday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Mpumalanga Community Safety MEC Pat Ngomane visited Mahlenga High School and Refano Primary School, in Mpumalanga, to convey condolences and give support to affected families and the community.
It is reported that the minibus taxi that was transporting the learners collided head-on with a truck and caught fire on the R25 between Verena and Bronkhorstpruit.
Government has offered professional counselling to the grieving learners and staff members of the two schools. Both the Mpumalanga and Gauteng Governments are working together to support the families, learners and staff members through this difficult moment.
Minister Motshekga said she could see that everyone is still emotional and that the accident has painfully affected learners at the schools, “but we have to accept what has happened and not question God’s timing. We know we are going to die, although we do not know when and how, but we pray that God accept our souls when the time comes. When the time has arrived you will not be able to avoid death.
“The mere fact that there is a child who have been discharged means that it was not yet time for the learner because they were in the same car. So we must accept that time had arrived for those who have passed on,” said the Minister.
Minister Motshekga asked affected families and schools to be strong; accept the sad passing and pray to God to receive the souls of those who have passed on.
“We will do whatever we can to offer support. This is actually a national disaster. Everyone is affected and they are sending their condolences. You are not alone in this situation. We were all shocked when we heard about the tragedy, but it is done… all we have to do now is to nurse our wounds,” said the Minister.
She called on all to continue to pray for affected families. “There is a family that lost three children. As mothers, we can lose husbands and everything else but when you lose a child it is inconsolable, it feels like you have lost everything… so losing three children is not child’s play.
“We must also pray for the family of the School Governing Body member who died with his children,” said the Minister.
She thanked all government departments for the support they are giving.
She said government is working on identifying the remains of the deceased, as they were burnt beyond recognition.