Alleged food poisoning strikes Roodepoort school, claims life of Grade 3 learner

A Grade 3 boy from Onkgopotse Tiro Primary School in Tshepisong, Roodepoort, has died from alleged food poisoning.

Tragedy struck Onkgopotse Tiro Primary School as a boy died from alleged food poisoning, shedding light on a surge in similar incidents.

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) confirmed that a Grade 3 boy from the school in Tshepisong, Roodepoort, died due to alleged food poisoning.

The learner died at the Tshepisong Clinic.

The tragic death of the boy comes amid increasing incidents of food poisoning among South African learners and a focus on expired foods and snacks at spaza shops.

One learner dead, other learner in hospital

According to the department, two Grade 3 boy learners from the school complained of stomach cramps in class and were rushed to the clinic.

“Unfortunately, after a few minutes of receiving medical attention, one learner was certified dead. Accordingly, the surviving learner was transferred to Leratong Hospital for further medical treatment, and he is in stable condition,” said GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona.

The learners had allegedly bought and consumed a pack of biscuits from a local spaza shop in the area, according to information at the department’s disposal.

“We wish to convey our sincerest condolences to the family of the learner and the greater school community of Onkgopotse Tiro Primary School for their loss. Subsequently, we will dispatch our psycho-social support officials to the school for necessary support,” the GDE said.

ALSO READ: Over 60 pupils fall ill in separate incidents after eating ‘snacks’ from street vendors

The department wished the learner who survived this incident a speedy recovery.

“We continue to urge School Governing Bodies (SGBs), parents, and communities at large to always be vigilant towards the food or snacks sold in and around schools,” Mabona said.

“Where it is suspected that the food or snack may have expired, such information should be reported to the local health or police authorities for necessary action.”

Over 60 learners fell ill on Thursday

Earlier on Friday, the department confirmed that about 22 learners from Tlotlompho Primary School in Ga-Rankuwa, Tshwane, were rushed to a local medical facility after falling sick at school in the morning. Out of 22 learners, only four were transferred to a hospital.

“The affected learners started complaining after eating snacks allegedly bought from a street vendor. Accordingly, the said learners experienced vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and shortness of breath,” Mabona said.

In a separate incident, 40 learners from Reimolotswe Primary School in Winterveld were also rushed to a local medical facility after consuming a type of snack called “dibombolina,” which they allegedly bought from different hawkers around the school.

“Only three were attended at a local facility and discharged; meanwhile, about 37 were transferred and treated at the hospital after experiencing symptoms associated with diarrhea, vomiting, and headaches, and they were later discharged. Fortunately, all were discharged, and only one was admitted,” the spokesperson added.

ALSO READ: Two grade 1 pupils die after allegedly eating poisonous biscuits in Soweto

Meanwhile, the department said it was “greatly satisfied” with the work done by police in a similar matter regarding food poisoning, where 90 learners from Pulamadibogo Primary School in Soshanguve were hospitalised on 20 September, 2023, after consuming space cookies.

The Soshanguve Magistrates Court denied three suspects arrested in the matter bail.

The case will resume on Tuesday, 12 December 2023.

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