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Two Eastern Cape children die from suspected poisoning

Two Eastern Cape children die from suspected poisoning

Two Eastern Cape children die from suspected poisoning

A 42 year-old man has been arrested for the murder of two boys at Magcakeni locality in Libode in the Eastern Cape, the South African Police Service  (SAPS) has said.

Police have are alleging that the boys were victims of a poison plot which two other boys managed to survive. All four boys involved in the tragedy were between the ages of four and eight.

The man faces additional counts of attempted murder.

According to police, three of the children had been under the care of a neighbour as their mother had been visiting in neighbouring Cape Town.

“The father of the children arrived at the neighbour’s homestead in the afternoon of 22 May 2020 and gave the children chocolate sweets which are suspected to have been poisoned with a Tank-Pill. Subsequently, all the children had to be rushed to a nearby hospital, as they fell sick from the alleged poisoned sweets”, said Eastern Cape SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana.

Bad blood between parents

Police believe the man attempted to kill his children to settle a score with their mother, as their relationship had gone sour. However an investigation is underway to establish other motives for the act.

“Reports indicate that one of the boys died on the way to the hospital, whilst the other one succumbed to death whilst receiving medical treatment in the hospital. The five-year-old who is reported to be a neighbour’s child was discharged in a stable condition, whilst the third child of the three (3) boys remains under close monitoring of the hospital due to his serious condition”, Kinana said.

Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Andre Swart has expressed shock over the incident and has praised police for the swift response.

“The suspect must be made to see his day in court, so that he can account for his horrendous actions.” General Swart has concluded.

The man is expected to appear before the Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder and attempted murder.

It isn’t the first time food poisoning allegations have rocked the Eastern Cape. More than 250 high school pupils in Libode had to be rushed to the St Barnabas Hospital after suspected cases in January 2020.

The learners are believed to have eaten tinned fish before they experienced severe diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps.

 

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