902 A crime scene expert takes pictures of the scene on 7th street in Linden where 3 men tried to hijack a woman after a chase with the police that started in Robindale. 190208. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Mmabatho - Post-mortem results will determine the cause of death of three children who died after they were left in a car for 20 minutes in Mmabatho.

The children were left in a black car on Wednesday while their parents went to a chemist to get medication for their youngest child.

The parents were with their 2-year-old son, 6-year-old daughter, her 4-year-old cousin and a neighbour’s 10-year-old daughter. The couple took their 2-year-old son, and left the other children in the car.

The 28-year-old mother went back to the car after buying fruit juice for the three children and found them very weak.

On Thursday, North West police spokesman Captain Mabel Mosidi said it was impossible for the children to open the car from the inside as it was locked and the windows were closed.

A key is needed to open the car’s electric windows and doors.

The parents had taken the key with them when they went to the chemist.

The 34-year-old driver of the car took the three children to Victoria Hospital, where they were certified dead on arrival.

SA Weather Service senior forecaster Puseletso Mofokeng said the weather was 27ºC in Mahikeng, and though this was not extreme, such a temperature could be dangerous in a stationary car with no ventilation.

“When the car is not moving, the temperature rises,” she said.

The fact that the car was black made the situation worse, as the vehicle would absorb heat, Mofokeng added.

Mosidi said police were investigating but no foul play was suspected.

The investigating officer would hand the docket to a prosecutor at the Mmabatho Magistrate’s Court for a decision on whether to prosecute.

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The Star