Durban - Police in Gauteng are probing the deaths of three brothers, who reportedly died after consuming energy drinks on Thursday.
It is alleged that the boys’ father gave his five children the drink in the morning.
According to Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi, the boys – aged six, 13 and 16 – were pupils at Ratanda Primary and Khanya Lesedi Secondary School, in Ratanda.
The MEC said the four boys consumed the drink while preparing for school.
“Four of the said pupils consumed the energy drink after arriving at school on Thursday. Sadly, two of the pupils died shortly afterwards, after complaining of stomach pains, while one was rushed to the nearest hospital, but died on the way. The fourth sibling is in a critical condition at the hospital while the fifth, fortunately, did not consume the energy drink,” Lesufi said.
He conveyed his sincerest condolences to the family, particularly the mother, of the deceased pupils.
“I further extend my condolences to friends, fellow pupils and teachers of the pupils, especially those who had witnessed these tragic incidents,” Lesufi added.
He said, at this stage, it is not known what led to the deaths and law enforcement agencies are investigating circumstances surrounding the deaths.
The Gauteng Department of Education has dispatched its Psycho-Social Support Unit to the affected schools, to offer counselling to the school community at large.
The services have also been offered to the bereaved family.
Lesufi is scheduled to visit both schools, as well as the boys’ family on Friday.