Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

11 August, 2011

Drowning - Minister extends condolences

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

We have learned with great sadness that a learner drowned while attending a camp near Villiersdorp yesterday (Wednesday, 10 August 2011).

Wade Tromp was a Grade 6 learner at Parow East Primary School. Ninety-three learners from the school attended the camp at the SOS School in the Wilds.

The principal reported the incident to Dr Heinie Brand, Director of the Metropole North Education District, who immediately went to the campsite with two school psychologists to provide counselling support for learners and staff.

The principal reported that the children were swimming at a pool during a break in activities, under the supervision of teachers and SOS staff.

Wade's friends noticed that he was missing when they resumed the camp's programme. School and camp staff organised searches, including the surrounding countryside.

Eventually staff searched the pool and found Wade's body. Staff later broke the news to the children, with the assistance of the school psychologists from our district office. The principal drove to Wade's home to inform his mother.

This is a tragedy beyond words. Our hearts go out to Wade's family at this difficult time. We extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends and all at Parow East Primary School.

The psychologists advised that the children remain at the camp and complete their activities today, before returning tomorrow (Friday, 12 August 2011). The department will investigate the incident fully.

Counsellors will continue to monitor the children and staff and will provide further counselling as required.

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