The Western Cape Education Department has confirmed 14 children were sent to local clinics following complaints of the children falling sick at a school in Delft on Thursday.
Bronagh Hammond, The Director for Communications for the Department of Education says they have received complaints from the community that the incident was caused by witchcraft. Hammond says at this stage they are unable to confirm what caused pupils to faint at Masonwabe Primary School in Delft.
Metro Police, cops, Disaster Risk Management and paramedics including a social worker were dispatched to the school.
Videos of parents rushing to the school to collect their children went viral on social media on Thursday afternoon. In the video, women can be seen crowding around a learner who is laying on the ground, attempting to fan the child using their hands.
Bronagh says they are asking the community to remain calm until they have answers of what happened: “The WCED has received reports of learners falling ill at Masonwabe Primary School.
“Reports indicate that 14 learners have been transported to local clinics. It is not yet clear what has transpired, however, some reports have indicated that learners collapsed or fainted. Metro Police, SAPS, Disaster Risk Management, medics and the School Social Worker (were) at the school. A minibus (was) also dispatched to transport more learners to the day hospital. Parents have come to the school to collect their children.
“Some community members are claiming that this is a result of witchcraft. We are appealing to the community to remain calm – right now our priority is to ensure that all learners are safe and that those needing medical attention are seen to. We await more information from medical professionals as to symptoms and reasons for their alleged ill-health.”
A community leader tells the Daily Voice she visited the school to attempt to bring calm to pupils: "The children are traumatised and they believe its demonic."
– Daily Voice