At least 90 learners from Pulamadibogo Primary School in Soshanguve, Tshwane, have been rushed to local medical facilities after experiencing nausea, stomach cramps, and some vomiting from allegedly eating space cookies.
"According to information at our disposal, approximately 90 learners from Grade R to Grade 7 consumed what looked like muffins, suspected to be laced with dagga (space cookies), which they bought from a street vendor on their way to school," Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said.
He said educators witnessed "strange behaviour" from the learners in class, and the teachers immediately called emergency services.
"All 90 affected learners were attended to by emergency services on school premises. However, they were all subsequently rushed to different medical facilities where their condition would be monitored," said Mabona.
"Police visited the school as this incident caused distress among parents, who also came as they were concerned about the safety of their children. Subsequently, the street vendor was identified, and police will conduct their investigation accordingly," he said.
Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane has expressed "concern" about the incident on Wednesday.
"Indeed, this is concerning for us, and we call for patience from parents while investigations are under way and learners are recovering," said Chiloane.
"We implore learners to be vigilant of what they purchase and consume and cautious of who they purchase food from. We wish all affected learners a speedy recovery."
In June, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng demanded the establishment of proper vetting processes to keep cookies laced with drugs out of school grounds.
This followed an incident where eight learners from Emfundisweni Primary School in Alexandra were admitted to Edenvale Hospital after eating space cookies sold to them by a vendor stationed outside the school premises.