WATCH: Cape pupil awarded for matriculating after surviving deadly fire

Lance Minnies came close to losing his life in a deadly 2016 fire and almost gave up on his studies when he recovered. But it was the hope for a better future and the support of caring people at his school that pulled him through and led to him proudly holding his matric certificate at a Special Ministerial Award ceremony on Thursday.

He was one of three pupils to receive the award for excellence despite barriers to learning from Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer at Leeuwenhof. The ceremony recognised the achievements of both pupils and schools across the province. Minnies was in Grade 11 at AZ Berman High School in Mitchells Plain in June 2016 when the fire occurred. He was visiting church youth friends in Eastridge and had to be retrieved from the burning home. He sustained burns to 99% of his body. The fire killed eight people, including five children, and injured five others. ‘I just wanted to go home’ “I had several operations every week where I thought I would never make it. I [spent] five months in hospital. I was crying, there was a lot of pain I had to go through and I just wanted to go home,” he explained on Thursday.
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