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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

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

The Gauteng Education Department has urged student governing bodies, parents and the community to be vigilant at all times and check all foods and snacks sold in and around schools..

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has confirmed four students from Tlotlompho Primary School in Ga Rankuwa were taken to a nearby hospital after becoming ill at school.

The department said the pupils started feeling unwell on Thursday.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona said about 22 pupils fell ill after allegedly buying snacks at a vendor.

“Only four learners of the 22 were transferred to a hospital. According to information at our disposal, the affected learners [fell ill when they] allegedly bought [snacks] from a street vendor. Accordingly, the said learners experienced vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and shortness of breath.

“Meanwhile some were released to parental care after medical attention, and those referred to hospital were also discharged.  Necessary medical tests were conducted for investigations,” Mabona said.

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

Bad snacks

In a separate incident, 40 learners from Reimolotswe Primary School in Winterveldt 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.

Mabona said only three were attended to at a local medical facility and discharged.

“Meanwhile, about 37 were transferred and treated at the hospital after experiencing symptoms associated with diarrhoea, vomiting and headache and they were later discharged. Fortunately, all were discharged, and only one was admitted.

“Indeed our Psycho Support officials will be dispatched to both schools for necessary support. We wish all learners a speedy recovery,” Mabona said.


Mabona has urged student governing bodies (SGB), parents and the community to be vigilant at all times and check all foods and snacks sold in and around schools.

“Where it is suspected that the snacks might have expired such information should be reported to the local authorities for necessary action. Schools must work jointly with school safety to [teach] learners on what is deemed to be dangerous,” Mabona said.

ALSO READ: Pupils ‘forced’ to eat ‘space muffins’

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