Like many parents across the country, Anele Mdoda, a 947 presenter, is heartbroken and enraged following the tragic drowning of Latoya Temilton, a learner at Laerskool Queenswood.
In an effort to shed light on the incident and demand accountability, Mdoda spoke to an anonymous learner’s mother, who shared disturbing details about what transpired during the tragedy.
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According to Letoya’s sister, Palesa, the family was initially informed that Letoya had hit her head on the pool’s edge. However, they later discovered that the learners were allegedly left unsupervised at the pool area.
Rest in Peace, Queen 📷
Latoya Temilton, 12, died during a school leadership outing on 20 January 2024. She allegedly had drowned in a pool. Latoya was a Grade 7 student at Laerskool Queenswood Primary School in Pretoria and was excited to attend the leadership program. pic.twitter.com/NtkgPmtSEq
— Women For Change (@womenforchange5) January 25, 2024
Palesa expressed her belief that the school was negligent in their duty to look after the children, stating, “We placed them in their hands.”
During a conversation on her 947 breakfast show, Mdoda spoke to a learner’s mother who had gathered information from children who attended the leadership school camp.
The mother made several allegations, including the claim that learners and their parents were only given indemnity forms on the school bus en route to the camp.
When Latoya drowned, it is reported the teachers instructed two boys to get her body out of the pool. They saw her eyes wide open, blood coming out from her eyes, nose and ears.
I can only imagine how traumatic this has been for them. 🙇🏾💔
— Buhle Mbhele 🤍 (@buhlembhele_) January 24, 2024
Additionally, the camp facilitators allegedly instructed the children to swim in the pool alone, without any lifeguard or adult supervision present. One learner even claimed to have seen a lifeless body in the water but was dismissed by the camp facilitators.
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Disturbingly, it was revealed that the principal himself performed CPR on Letoya’s lifeless body, rather than waiting for emergency medical services (EMS) to arrive.
Mdoda expressed her concern, stating, “This camp facility was hosting two other schools. That is a lot of kids to not have a lifeguard or a paramedic on site. Too many balls were dropped here.”
The anonymous mother also shared that the principal initially informed Letoya’s family that she had fallen and hit her head on the pool’s edge, which the mother vehemently denies.
The principal later informed the family that Letoya’s condition was critical, only to ignore their calls and eventually inform them of her passing. When Letoya’s mother asked the head of the department what had happened, she received a disconcerting response: “I don’t know.”
Further distressing details emerged when it was revealed that the school instructed pupils and parents not to discuss the incident or post anything on social media. The rest of the school was informed of Letoya’s drowning via a message on Sunday evening.
Mdoda, along with the anonymous Laerskool Queenswood mother, is demanding answers and accountability from the school.
Mdoda emphasised the need for the school to take responsibility and apologise, stating, “Someone must answer what happened to that child.” She also called for ongoing trauma counselling to be provided to all the children who attended the camp.
Despite invitations extended to representatives from Laerskool Queenswood school and the Department of Education to address the issue on her show, Mdoda claimed that neither party responded. This lack of response led Mdoda to tweet, “Clearly busy designing [100%] pass rate flyers with politicians’ faces on them.”
Latoya Temilton drowned at a school camp. Laerskool Queenswood then told the parents and pupils to not say anything to anyone and keep it under wraps. I am told this by a parent of the school. This parent will be coming onto the show at 7:10 to tell us more. #AneleandTheClubon947…
— Anele Mdoda (@Anele) January 25, 2024