MEC has to answer why dying KZN learner was left to suffer without help

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL

DA spokesperson on Education

MEC has to answer why dying KZN learner was left to suffer without help


The Democratic Alliance will seek answers from KZN Education MEC, Mthandeni Dlungwane after a matric learner was left to walk 4km home, in the dark, despite being gravely ill as a result of alleged food poisoning.

Masakhaneni High School pupil, Mxolisi Mzulwini was part of a group of learners attending a boot camp at Adams College between 26 September and 6 October, designed to prepare them for exams.

According to a media report, pupils had complained about the food after some of them became ill, with several choosing to leave the camp as their health deteriorated.

Mxolosi was one of them and since there was no assistance he had to walk home. His family took him to a local clinic where he was given some tablets and tested for TB and then told to come back a few days later. He died shortly afterwards.

The DA extends its sincere condolences to the Mzulwini family on their tragic and untimely loss.

There can be no excuse for what happened. It is inexplicable that a young man, on the verge of a promising future, should die after attending an education boot camp. He and his peers were entrusted to the care of educators. Yet, despite being so ill, he was left to fend for himself.

This entire incident raises very serious questions. The DA has today submitted a written parliamentary question to the MEC to establish why nothing was done to ensure medical help, both for Mxolosi and for the other children that fell ill.

These questions include the following;

  • Why were emergency services not called to the scene when children became ill?
  • Why was Mxolosi Mzulwini not taken directly to hospital given his obvious deteriorating health?
  • What kind of supervision was there at Adam’s College and
  • Why didn’t staff intervene after numerous children became ill?

In hosting a boot camp such as this one, there should have been proper protocol in place in terms of food prep, the management of sick children and transport in the event of any emergency. Clearly, this was not the case.

The DA expects answers from MEC Dlungwane. His silence to date is deafening.

As the custodian of education and learners in our Province he must ensure that there is a full-scale investigation into this incident and that those responsible for this tragic outcome are held to account.

It is clear that the failing ANC has long forgotten about the people and cannot be given another second chance to put the people first. KZN needs change led by the DA, which builds One South Africa for All, and ensures that the people are treated with dignity.

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