News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
6 Jan 2020
10:56 pm

Four children die after eating toxic substance at Eastern Cape dump site

News24 Wire

Three-year-old Alunamda Mqawu, his sister, 10-year-old Zintle, as well as siblings five-year-old Alizwa and 11-year-old Asive Rhwayibana died.

Picture for illustrative purposes. Scrap collectors sort through waste at the Boitshepe dumping site in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng on 2 June 2017. A thriving microeconomy exists within the dump and surrounds, with metals and plastics being recovered or stolen and resold. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Four children in the Eastern Cape have died after consuming a toxic substance at a dump site in NU30, Motherwell, on Sunday afternoon.

Three-year-old Alunamda Mqawu, his sister, 10-year-old Zintle, as well as siblings five-year-old Alizwa and 11-year-old Asive Rhwayibana died after being rushed to the Motherwell health centre.

A seven-year-old survived the ordeal.

“All the children were apparently playing at the dump, which is close to their homes, and ate some foodstuff they found there.

“There are rumours doing the rounds that they ate tainted chips and cheese, but the police will only be able to get an idea of the cause of their deaths once post-mortems and forensic tests have been conducted,” police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said in a statement on Monday.

A formal inquest docket has been opened, and the police are calling on anyone with information that could assist the investigation to come forward.

Motherwell cluster commander Major General Dawie Rabie conveyed his condolences to all the families affected by the tragedy.

“A stern warning has also been given to the community in the area not to consume anything found on rubbish dumps,” Beetge said.

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