The police in Gauteng have opened an inquest docket after two Grade 1 pupils from a Soweto primary school died after allegedly eating biscuits and drinking juice purchased at a local foreign-run spaza shop.
It is alleged that four children purchased biscuits at a local shop and started vomiting afterwards. Two of the children died, while two others were still in critical condition at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.
There was a high police presence in the streets of Naledi, Soweto, as angry members of the community took to the streets complaining about foreign spaza shop keepers allegedly selling expired goods.
Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi confirmed police had opened inquest dockets.
“The police are investigating two inquest dockets after two kids aged 5 and 6 died at a clinic in Naledi on 01 October 2023.
“The cause of death is unknown at this stage, pending postmortem results,” said Nevhuhulwi.
Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane expressed devastation over the unfortunate deaths of two Grade 1 boy learners from Kgauhelo Primary School and Karabo Primary School in Soweto who passed away on Sunday.
He called for the community to support the process and pleaded with parents to be extra vigilant about what their children consume.
“This incident serves as a grave reminder to parents and guardians to exercise the utmost caution when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of our learners. It is imperative that we remain vigilant and ensure that our children are not exposed to harmful substances.
“We will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies to investigate this matter thoroughly. We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to the affected families and wish the two hospitalised learners a speedy recovery,” said Chiloane.