Public Eye (South Africa)

School mourns tragic deaths of pupils

- Prashalan Govender

It has been a tragic start to the new year for Merchiston Preparator­y School following the deaths of two of their pupils over the weekend. Tributes have been flooding the school’s Facebook page, sending condolence­s to the families of Caleb Jordaan (Grade 2 2023) and Grade R ‘mudrat’ Ntandoyenk­osi Mazibuko, who died in two separate incidents, just days apart.

Eight-year-old Caleb Jordaan from Ashburton had just returned home with his dad and a tub of their favourite ice-cream when tragedy struck and he was fatally injured in a freak accident at his home.

As word of the tragedy spread there has been an outpouring of grief and tributes to the"little boy with the biggest heart".

In a particular­ly moving tribute and celebratio­n of his love for life, his friends and ice cream, Caleb's parents, family and friends from church, shared an ice-cream cone to celebrate him and his absolute love for icecream after church on Sunday.

Family spokespers­on, Pastor Grant Nelson, from Rhema Vine Ministries, said Caleb was a boy “with a small frame but a giant heart.”

“He was the heart of the party at gatherings and had so much energy and love for sport and his off-road motorbike,” Nelson said.

The tragedy, he said, had spurred the Ashburton and Lynnfield Park communitie­s and members of their church as well as the Onelife Church into action with numerous individual­s and families visiting the family and sending messages of support.

Caleb’s mother, Megan, posted on Facebook about his love for ice-cream.

“One of Caleb’s last wishes was to go get ice-cream before coming home on Saturday with his daddy who could hardly say no to him. They went and got a large 5l ice-cream tub to bring home for us to all share. Unfortunat­ely, the horrific accident took place and he didn’t get to have his ice-cream. So in honour of Caleb, we all enjoyed an ice-cream cone to celebrate him and his absolute love for icecream after church yesterday,” read Megan’s post on Facebook.

Nelson said the community had also rallied around the family in a bid to raise funds for them.

“Caleb’s father is a self-employed contractor who is currently unable to work as he is spending time with his family and grieving the unspeakabl­e loss. We are asking for those who can assist financiall­y to please do so,” he said.

Those willing to assist the family can contact the family representa­tive via email:

Merchiston Preparator­y School in a Facebook post expressed their condolence­s and paid tribute to Caleb.

"Our deepest love and support surround Caleb's family during this heartbreak­ing time.

“Caleb's joyful spirit will forever remain in our hearts. Rest peacefully, sweet Caleb. Your light will never fade in our memories," read the post.

Caleb was the youngest son of Megan and Dustin Jordaan and younger brother to Noah (12) and Joe Jordaan (11).

A memorial service for Caleb will be held on January 13 at the Rhema Vine Ministries Church.

Merchiston Preparator­y School was dealt another blow with the tragic death of Grade R “mudrat” Ntandoyenk­osi Mazibuko.

The school, posting on social media, said:

“It is with great sadness that we share the death of a dear Grade R 2023 Mudrat, Ntandoyenk­osi Mazibuko.

“Our deepest love and support surround Ntando’s family while we mourn both Ntando and his mom’s passing during this heartbreak­ing time.

“We say goodbye to a very dear and special little boy, who enjoyed every moment at school and valued his friendship­s,” said the statement.

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