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Hunt for man who gave kids poisoned sweets

A picture allegedly showing the sweets that made at least 60 children from three schools in Joburg ill on Wednesday. Picture: @KhumaloZinzi

A picture allegedly showing the sweets that made at least 60 children from three schools in Joburg ill on Wednesday. Picture: @KhumaloZinzi

Published Nov 10, 2016


Johannesburg - At least 60 children from three schools in Joburg fell ill on Wednesday after taking sweets from an unknown man on Tuesday.

The schools are all located around The Hill suburb.

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The Gauteng Department of Education said they were initially told 20 children were affected, but two more schools came forward later in the day.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited pupils at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. “There are two pupils in a serious condition who will remain in hospital overnight,” he said.

“We are hoping that the rest of the children will be discharged shortly.”

Lesufi explained that the provincial Department of Health had given out the medication “to cleanse the bodies of the children” affected.

“We are grateful to the Department of Health for everything they have done to help,” he said.

“We are working with the police, and the children have been able to describe the suspect to us.”

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He added that he was deeply concerned about the situation and could not understand why someone would want to do this to children.

“We call on parents and teachers to emphasise the issue that children must never talk to or form any type of relationship with unknown persons.

“They must not take anything from strangers or from anyone they don’t know outside the school premises,” Lesufi said.

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According to ER24, who attended to one of the three primary schools affected in The Hill, numerous emergency vehicles were dispatched to the scene.

“Upon arrival, ER24 paramedics, along with other services, were immediately led to the sick children,” said spokesperson Russel Meiring, adding that 20 children had complained of abdominal pain as well as nausea and vomiting.

They were treated at the scene and taken to South Rand and Baragwanath hospitals for urgent care, he said.

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Meiring said the children later told paramedics they had been given sweets by an unknown man the previous day.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said the police were looking for the man.

A case of attempted murder had been opened.

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The Star

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