Family challenges report on son’s death, Newsline

THE family of Keamogetswe “Keamo” Seboko are hoping a court will reveal the truth behind the death of their son, who was found naked at the bottom of a pool at the Laerskool Bekker school in Magaliesburg.

The Sebokos are preparing for a courtroom showdown with the Gauteng Department of Education and want answers why a post-mortem report showed he had a cut beside his lip on the right cheek, a cut across the back of his neck, as well as a cut on top of his head.

Yesterday, MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the family at their home in Eldorado Park to hand over the investigative report into the 12-year-old’s death in January this year.

The report concluded the boy had drowned and no foul play was suspected. Four educators and the principal were found to be negligent for failing to provide adequate supervision at the pool and act swiftly after the incident was reported. The school is deemed liable, subsequently the department must take responsibility.

While the family are relieved that the school is being held accountable, they do not believe Keamogetswe had accidentally drowned.

His mother, Lucia Seboko, suspects foul play. “We are glad we got some light into what transpired that day, but obviously we are not happy about the report,” she told the Saturday Star.

“We are glad they realise that the teachers and the school were found to be negligent, so we are glad at least somebody is going to be held accountable.”

It is alleged that Keamogetswe was swimming at the school’s hostel pool with around 60 other learners during school hours when he went missing.

His body was discovered over half an hour later after the rest of the children had left the area. According to police, his shorts and underwear were found floating in the pool.

Lucia says she isn’t buying the details that her son accidentally drowned.

“The statements they gave and the footage discovered don’t go hand in glove. What they are saying and what was discovered are two different things. Ultimately, they know what happened and they keep that to themselves to save themselves.

“At the end of the day we still have questions. As much as the report says that it’s a drowning, I’m baffled at how my son was discovered naked in the pool, among many other things.

“Where did all the bruising and cuts come from if it was accidental? We are very disappointed and we are still going through all these emotions.

“We thought that after today, we would finally get the answers to put our minds at ease and have some sort of closure. But now we have more questions than we had before.”

Lucia says she won’t rest until she finds out what really happened to her son, and is ready to take the legal route against the Department of Education.

“We will be issuing summons. We have a legal team. From now on it will be the department’s legal team versus our legal team.”

Lucia has also opened up about the challenging months she and her family have faced since his death.

“As much as one might think it happened eleven months ago, it feels like it happened yesterday. We are all still in counselling and we are all battling.

“Today has hurt us even more. We knew Keamo could swim. So to be told he accidentally drowned has angered us even more. Nobody wants to give us proper answers, and so we continue to be left with pain and disappointment.”

Lesufi spent the day with the Sebokos yesterday sharing the findings.

He stated the report was compiled by an impartial regulation agency and had been prepared around March, but couldn’t be launched because of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

“They (the law firm) feel that, on the basis of the evidence they have, that it was a drowning. They couldn’t find any act, either of bullying, murder or somebody being responsible,” he said.

Lesufi said that the report found “serious inconsistent reports” from the school and it was clear there was no supervision at the pool on the day the young learner died.

The third finding of the report is that the Gauteng Education Department will ultimately take responsibility for the death of Keamogetswe.

The Saturday Star