On Wednesday, over 20 children from a primary school in The Hills, south of Joburg, were rushed to hospital after they ingested poisoned sweets given to them by a stranger.
The school authority says that the unidentified man came to the children’s playground and handed them the sweets. A day after they ingested the sweets, a good number of them began to complain of abdominal pains. By then the stranger was no where to be found.
According to Michael Sun, City of Joburg member of the mayoral committee for community safety, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police department were invited into the matter immediately.
“Most of the pupils who ate the sweets were complaining about abdominal pain as well as nausea and vomiting.”
Paramedics and several other health services came to the scene and treated the children before they were taken to South Rand and Baragwanath hospitals. Two of the children are said to be in critical conditions at the hospital.
Russel Meiring, ER24 Spokesman, said:
“The children later told paramedics that they had apparently been given sweets by an unknown man the previous day,”
“We urge parents to teach their children not to accept sweets or gifts from strangers.”
Findings suggest that the stranger with the poisoned sweets had not been to just one school. About 60 pupils from Suidheuwels and 2 other Primary Schools were treated of food poisoning on Wednesday.
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The sweets have been found to be laced with drugs.
The unidentified man is being hunted by the police. He will face the charge of attempted murder when found.
Gauteng police spokesman, Captain Kay Makhubela, says “no one has been arrested” but “investigations continue”.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is hopeful that the culprit will be brought to book.
“I’m hopeful because police have given us people who will assist us in case we identified the suspect,” he said.