‘Gogo’ hawker poisons over 75 pupils
MBOMBELA — More than 75 pupils from the Sindzawonye Primary School in Pienaar, near Nelspruit, were rushed to hospital after they were allegedly poisoned this week.
“The incident occurred on Tuesday, and investigations are currently underway to get to the root cause,” spokesperson for the provincial department of education Jasper Zwane said.
An elderly lady selling ice lollies at the school has come under suspicion.
The woman, who usually sells her ice lollies at R1 a piece, lowered the price to 50 cents.
Reports say after learners bought her ice lollies they vomited and were quickly rushed to hospital.
“The accused gogo . . . said she was falsely accused. She mentioned that she didn’t sell more than 10 ice lollies that day so there was no way it could have been her ice that caused the pupils to vomit,” Zwane said.
Parents were up in arms and said the woman needed to be chased away.
“The lady should be kicked out of the school premises as a hawker. This time our kids might have gotten off lightly by a mere vomit but what might happen next time if the school board decides to keep her,” said one parent who refused to give her name.
However, Zwane warned against prejudging the situation.
“We must shy away from making unfounded conclusions and a proper investigation will be carried [out] to find out what caused the vomiting. After that the school will make a decision. The majority of the pupils were discharged and none have been admitted.”
He said the cause had not been proven. “The cause might not be the ice lollies but something else they have eaten during the day,” Zwane said. — AFP