Confirmation of the death of three children in an unused chest freezer has raised to six the number of young children to die, allegedly while unsupervised, in the space of a few days in the North West.
The provincial education department said three children suffocated to death while playing in the chest freezer at Mammutla village, near Taung, at the weekend.
Education spokesperson Elias Malindi said the pupils from Mammutla Primary School were playing a game of “getting in and out” when they became trapped in the freezer.
MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela said, “On behalf of the department l would like to convey our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and the entire school community.
“This is an unfortunate incident especially now that we are writing the final examinations at the moment. It is so heartbreaking to lose three learners all at the same time.”
Matsemela said the department had arranged counselling for pupils, teachers, school governing body members and the bereaved families.
The pupils will be laid to rest in Mammutla on Saturday.
TimesLIVE reported earlier on Thursday that police in the province were investigating the death of another three children – aged four, five and six – at Botsalano village, near Morokweng.
Police spokesperson Brig Sabata Mokgwabone said their grandmother allegedly left them at home in the yard and went to a funeral service in the same village on Wednesday.
She returned home later to find their bodies inside an old, unused vehicle parked in the yard.
Mokgwabone urged the community and parents to take proper care of their children to avoid such tragic incidents.