Gauteng Education Department launches independent investigation after Latoya Temilton’s death

Latoya Temilton, 12, drowned at a school camp. Picture: Facebook / Women for Change

Latoya Temilton, 12, drowned at a school camp. Picture: Facebook / Women for Change

Published Jan 25, 2024


Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane has recommended an independent investigation be launched after the death of 12-year-old Latoya Temilton on Saturday, January 20.

The Grade 7 learner from Laerskool Queenswood in Pretoria attended a one-day excursion to Wag ‘n Bietjie Resort in Witkoppen, Olifantsfontein.

She is alleged to have drowned.

On Thursday, Anele Mdoda, host of Anele and the Club on 947 breakfast show, brought up the topic after allegations were made that the school allegedly told parents and learners not to say anything after the incident and “keep it under wraps”.

On her show, Mdoda spoke to a parent under anonymity who revealed this to be true.

It was disclosed that the facility was hosting two other schools and that there was no lifeguard or paramedic on site.

The principal is also alleged to have performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after two learners pulled Latoya’s lifeless body out of the water.

In a statement released, Chiloane said the incident is currently under investigation by the South African Police Service (SAPS).

On Wednesday, the school held a memorial service for Latoya.

“We are devastated by this tragic loss. We convey our sincerest condolences to the bereaved family and the school community at large. We are hopeful an independent investigation into this incident will assist to determine what exactly occurred,” Chiloane said.

The department also confirmed it is in the process of appointing an independent law firm.

The law firm, once appointed, will be introduced to the school management team and Latoya’s family.

In 2020, Parktown Boys’ High School learner, 13-year-old Enock Mpianzi drowned during a Grade 8 orientation camp in North West.

Enock went missing during a water activity at a Grade 8 orientation camp in Brits on the first day of the 2020 academic year.

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