Ricochet News

Four Motherwell children die in poisoning tragedy, one child survives

Jan 7, 2020
Four Motherwell children die in poisoning tragedy, one child survives

Port Elizabeth - Tragedy struck in Port Elizabeth where four children, between the ages of 3 and 11, died after consuming a toxic substance on a dumping area in NU30, Motherwell, on Sunday afternoon.

Port Elizabeth police said that a seven-year-old child survived the ordeal.

"This followed after the Motherwell Health Centre in NU4B alerted police about children dying due to poisoning just after 6pm on Sunday," said police spokesperson, Captain Andre Beetge.

"The 3-year-old male, Alunamda Mqawu, passed away on arrival at the health centre, while his sister, the 10-year-old Zintle Mqawu, and another pair of siblings, 5-year-old boy Alizwa Rhwayibana and his sister 11-year-old Asive Rhwayibana, all died while receiving treatment at the health centre.

"Another 7-year-old boy Asiphile Grootboom was brought in later the afternoon with similar symptoms and managed to survive after treatment."

Capt Beetge said that all the children (friends) were apparently playing close to their homes and ate some food stuffs they found between the rubble.

"Some rumors about chips and cheese were doing the rounds, but police will only be able to get a closer idea of the cause of death once post mortems and forensic tests have been conducted," he added.

"Residents and police on Monday frequented the area where lots of rubbish and trash have been dumped in an open area under the NU30 power lines, about 100 metres from the houses where the children lives.

"A formal inquest docket was opened and any person with information that could assist police with the investigation, can make contact with the Motherwell Police Station or call 08600 10111."

Motherwell SAPS Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie, has expressed his condolences to all the familes affected by the tragedy.

"A stern warning have also been given to the community in the area not to consume anything found on rubbish dump sites."

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