Three Ekurhuleni Siblings Die ‘After Eating Meat Laced With Rat Poison’. Three siblings, the youngest just a year old, have died after allegedly eating meat laced with rat poison, the Gauteng department of education said on Thursday.
The office of education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the other children were in grade 1 and grade 2 at the Kaalfontein Primary School.
They died on Tuesday.
“According to information at our disposal, while [the] children were at school, the grandparent of the three deceased children [allegedly] sprinkled rat poison on meat and placed the container on top of the refrigerator with an intention to, later at night, trap rats in the house and left for church,” said department spokesperson Steve Mabona.
“Back from school, [the] learners gained access to their grandmother’s rat bait and consumed it. Upon arrival [home] from church, the grandparent found the children watching TV until she realised the container she left on top of the refrigerator was now in the sink. When probing the situation, they confirmed that they gained access to the poisoned meat and ate it,” said Mabona.
She tried to save the children and gave them milk to drink. The children, however, started complaining about stomach cramps. They were rushed to a medical facility but were certified dead on arrival.
Lesufi expressed shock at the incident and conveyed his condolences to the family and school.
The children’s deaths come a week after three other children, from Ratanda in Heidelberg, died after consuming an energy drink laced with poison.
The poison had allegedly been put in the drink by their father before he tried to commit suicide by cutting himself and overdosing on pills. He is believed to be recovering in hospital with a fourth child who also consumed the drink.
A fifth child escaped unscathed after he refused the drink.