A 17-year-old, Grade 11 pupil at Newcastle High School in Northern KwaZulu Natal died in a rugby trial at the school on Monday.
Bongukuhle Langa was said to have been involved in a tackle with another player and, according to police spokesman Jay Naicker, fell to the ground dead.
The boy's family and the players who were on the field at the time are reported to have been traumatised and were receiving counseling.
The principal of the school, Manny Govender, said the incident was a terrible tragedy and declined to comment further.
The president of the Northern KwaZulu Natal Rugby Subunion, FC Bester, saddened by the incident, said that he had reported what had happened to the KwaZulu Natal Rugby Union's CEO Pete Smith and to the president, Graham McKenzie. Bester is reported to have said: “All schools in the area are being informed today about the incident and are again being advised to adhere to BokSmart, which was designed to limit injuries in rugby."
Provincial spokesperson for the Department of Education, Muzi Mahlambi, said he was sad to hear of the accident. "I pass my condolences to the boy's family, his teachers, his friends and his team--mates. No parent who sends their child to school to play rugby expects that child to die."
A postmortem will be carried out.