The Mpumalanga education department disclosed that two matric pupils from the Makhosana Manzini High School in Bushbuckridge died in a tragic accident on Monday, shortly after writing a preliminary exam.

They were part of a group of four who were mowed down by a taxi as they walked home from school, the department said in a statement.

The department said “Two of them sadly passed away while the other two were rushed to hospital. Of the two surviving learners, one was discharged and the other one is still receiving medical attention at Matikwane hospital”.

The department added that “It is alleged the taxi driver was running away from traffic police when he lost control of the taxi which ultimately plunged into the four learners”.

The taxi driver was arrested.

Mpumalanga education MEC Bonakele Majuba conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased pupils and expressed outrage at the incident.

Majuba said “We are deeply hurt and saddened by this callous act of taking away these two innocent lives at the prime of their youth. Our hearts pour out condolences to their beloved families and friends. We also wish the other two learners well, to heal and recuperate fully and fast”.

He added that “We implore the law to take its course on reckless driving to curb incidents such as these. May the two learners who passed on rest peacefully”.