File picture: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay
File picture: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

‘Space cookies’ land 39 Soweto pupils in hospital

By Roland Mpofu Time of article published Feb 23, 2020

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Johannesburg - Thirty-nine learners from Lofentse Girls Secondary School in Orlando, Soweto, were treated at two hospitals after eating poisoned “space cookies”.

On Thursday, the learners were admitted and treated at Bheki Mlangeni Hospital and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, respectively, after indulging in the poisoned biscuits.

Gauteng police spokesperson Kay Makhubele confirmed that a 17-year-old pupil was arrested for selling the cookies.

A sample of the cookies was taken for analysis to establish what might have caused the sickness.

Meanwhile, more Gauteng learners have died since the start of the year.

The latest death is that of a 14-year-old boy from Freedom Park Secondary School who was stabbed to death by another learner.

This brings the number to 16 learners and four educators who have died since schools opened in Gauteng for the new year.

The deaths and other unfortunate incidents that befell the pupils prompted Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi to appeal for divine intervention from religious leaders.

Pastor Percy Makholwa of Ekklesia Corum Deo said Lesufi should receive our sympathies for the responsibility thrust upon him to answer for the deaths at schools around Gauteng.

“The MEC may indeed call on religious leaders, and I and many pastors are ready to support the MEC.”

Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools chief executive officer Paul Colditz, said religious leaders can and should play an important role in pupils’ safety.

“We are not a religious body but a voluntary association of school governing bodies, and we therefore are not equipped to provide divine intervention, but we can broadly associate ourselves with the request that religious bodies should assist in dealing with some of the causes, and in particular with the trauma associated with such occurrences,” said Colditz.

The Sunday Independent

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