The Department of Basic Education in the Free State is in mourning after a teacher fainted and died in a classroom

Mahlonyana Francina Mkhwanazi, 57, died on Wednesday at Mphatlalatsane Primary School in QwaQwa, Thabo Mofutsanyana District, the department said.

She was teaching a class when she suddenly fainted and died on the spot, department spokesperson Howard Ndaba said, adding pupils and teachers had sought help after Mkhwanazi collapsed.

He added moral and psychological support had been offered to them following the incident.

In a statement the department said: “Her remarkable performance was evident in the learners’ good performance in the annual national Assessment. She was also a senior teacher and acting head of the department.”

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Mkhwanazi joined the teaching profession in 1987 and had been a sterling mathematics and science teacher, the department said.

Details of the funeral service were not yet available, Ndaba said.