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Durban: The KZN Education Department has sent its condolences to the family of a 12-year-old boy who died after the sanitiser he allegedly set alight burnt him.
Spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the department had been inundated with calls about the incident which was doing its round on social media.
“We take this opportunity to send our condolences to the biological family and the school family at large.
“We can confirm that the incident did not occur at the school. Nonetheless, this is our learner who has passed on, and we appeal to all to give the family a chance to grieve their lost child. All we can do is pray for the family during this time.”
Earlier today, police confirmed the learner’s death.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said: “It is alleged that on June 7 at 5.30pm, a 12-year-old boy put the sanitiser liquid into a bowl and lit it up with matches and it caused flames. The boy got burnt and was rushed to hospital for medical attention.”
She said the boy died in hospital on Wednesday. A case was opened at Umbilo SAPS where the matter was under investigation.
According to a message circulating on social media, the Grade 7 learner was practising what he saw on a TikTok video.
Adeshini Naicker, the acting director of Childline KZN described the child’s death as “heartbreaking”.
Naicker also offered advice following allegations that the learner had practised what he saw on TikTok.
Naicker urged parents who allow their children access to TikTok or any form of social media to supervise the content.
“Parents need to be real and transparent about the do’s and dont’s.
“Parents should also be encouraged to watch the videos together with their kids and verbalise what they deem appropriate. Kids should be able to to the same. This will help parents ascertain what type of videos their kids gravitate towards. This enables them to better supervise their kids’ online content.”