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Police are investigating four cases of attempted murder after four high school pupils were rushed to hospital this week after eating suspected drug-contaminated muffins.
The three 16-year-old girls and a 17-year-old boy from Old Mill High School in Empangeni, Zululand, were rushed to hospital by emergency workers after they started hallucinating and vomiting. The teacher raised the alarm after the three girls collapsed in class.
Police spokesman Captain Mbongeni Mdlalose said the teacher became suspicious of the pupils’ behaviour when they wouldn’t stop giggling.
“They soon started to hallucinate and then they began vomiting,” he said.
After being threatened, it emerged that one of the pupils, the boy, had brought the muffins, known as “space muffins”, to school.
Mdlalose said the teenager told police that a man he bumped into on his way to school had given him the muffins. “The boy is an orphan and stays with his grandmother. He said he usually goes to school without having had anything to eat and when this man offered him the muffins he was only too happy to take them,” said Mdlalose.
The boy was released into his grandmother’s custody after being questioned.
Some of the left-over muffins were taken for testing, said Mdlalose, adding that police suspected that they could have been contaminated with other substances.
“Four cases of attempted murder have been opened.”
He urged pupils to not accept “gifts” from strangers.
A classmate of the four pupils, however, said the muffins were not “gifts”.
“He (the boy) bought them from a local gogo,” said the pupil. “They ate them during break. I think the dosage was high because they collapsed… but it was definitely not the first time they had eaten space muffins.”
The pupils were discharged from hospital and were back at school on Friday. - Independent On Saturday