In addition to tributes that continue to pour in for the victims of a structural collapse at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark, money has also been raised to help those who are recovering in hospital.
During a money-raising drive on Pretoria-based radio station Jacaranda FM, one anonymous listener contributed R200 000 to the family of Shamonè Steynvaart, who has been left paralysed when a concrete slab above a corridor linking two blocks of buildings came crashing down on 26 learners at the school on Friday, Netwerk24 reported. Four children died following the incident.
According to the Afrikaans-language news site, the same listener donated a further R500 000 to the school. The listener reportedly donated the money after listening to Shamonè’s mother, Charmaine Steynvaart, being interviewed on Breakfast with Martin Bester on that station.
Jacaranda FM managed to raise a total of R865 000 to assist pupils who were hospitalised after the tragic incident.
On Friday morning, pupils were heading to their classrooms after a morning assembly when the bridge suddenly collapsed.
Roydon Olckers, Jandré Steyn and Marli Currie died on the scene while 23 others were taken to hospital. At the weekend, another learner, Marnus Nagel, succumbed to his injuries while in hospital.
At the weekend, more than 1 000 learners, parents and supporters staged a vigil at the school, placing flowers and candles at the entrance, Vaal Weekblad reported.
News24 on Wednesday reported that Jandré will be buried on Thursday at 11:00 in Vanderbijlpark, while Marli and Roydon will be buried separately on Friday – also in Vanderbijlpark. Marnus will be buried on Friday in Parys, Free State.
On Wednesday morning, another learner was discharged from hospital, leaving 19 other learners hospitalised across Gauteng province.
The radio station’s Good Morning Angels initiative raised the money during the show on Wednesday, which was dedicated to the school and the affected learners, during a live broadcast at the school as part of the #MySchoolRocks competition.
“This morning’s episode of Good Morning Angels focused on the Hoërskool Driehoek tragedy, chatting with Charmaine Steynvaart, mother of a 14-year-old learner who was involved in the Driehoek incident and only received the news yesterday that she would likely not walk again,” said the station.
The team then called on listeners for help and the response was bigger than they had imagined.
Hoërskool Waterkloof raised R65 000 for the school, Wimpy South Africa called in and donated another R100 000 and a listener, who wanted to remain anonymous, donated R500 000 to the school. A further R200 000 was donated to the family of Shamonè Steynvaart.
Shamoné, 14 and 17-year-old Milindi Weber sustained back injuries during the accident and are being treated in the Wilgers Hospital in Pretoria.
The station said representatives of the Hoërskool Waterkloof pupils and Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels visited the two girls in hospital on Tuesday.
Milindi, who is a matriculant, is expected to make a full recovery, although she has to wear a back brace and has weeks of recovery ahead.
Shamoné who is in Grade 9, is still in Intensive Care Unit, received the news that she would not be able to walk again. She still has weeks of rehabilitation ahead at another Pretoria facility before she and her family will be able to return to Vanderbijlpark.
Her mother, Charmaine said as the family, their lives have changed forever.
Meanwhile, sections of the Hoërskool Driehoek have been declared safe for learners and are expected to open on Monday, February 11.
Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said head of department, Edward Mosuwe, was expected to announce later on Wednesday that pupils could officially return to class after the weekend. This is after structural engineers declared parts of the school safe.