Domestic worker poisons family

2014-05-16 09:40


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Mayibongwe Maqhina, The Witness

Durban – An Umhlanga mother says she is consulting a psychologist for her four children following the alleged poisoning of their food by their domestic worker.

"The incident has traumatised the four children. They have asked that I don’t employ a domestic worker any more. I hope to respect their wish, but that will mean I have to be a housewife. I now have to get a psychologist so that they can overcome the ordeal,” Mandy de Lange said on Thursday.

She said the family discovered that their food was poisoned when she prepared coffee on Saturday morning and found it had an overwhelming taste.

The night before, one of her children had complained about a horrible taste in the bottle of milk she had prepared for her. “We had nausea, were vomiting and had cramps in our stomachs,” she said.

Powdery substance

De Lange said when she checked the food in the refrigerator she discovered a powdery substance in the contents of food and mixed juice.

She said soon after the discovery of the powdery substance she alerted the security company and the police, who advised her to wait until Monday to open a charge when the domestic worker came to work.

She said when the domestic worker arrived at her house on Monday the security company refused her entry and questioned her about the food poisoning, but she denied it. However, when the police arrived 10 minutes later she had admitted to the food poisoning and then pointed out the food she had poisoned.

De Lange said it was sheer luck that she had discovered the food poisoning in time before her extended family’s visit.

“My mother, sister and nephew came on Saturday to spend the weekend for Mother’s Day. Luckily we found out earlier otherwise it would have been the extended family that was poisoned.”

‘She appeared so nice’

De Lange said she had employed the domestic worker about a month before after asking her gardener if he knew someone who could help at her house.

“She appeared so nice. She was so good,” she said.

De Lange says she now has to buy take-away food as the children do not want to eat food prepared at her home, fearing it was poisoned.

“They are so traumatised. They battle to trust the edible food even though I have thrown away everything that was in the fridge. They are too emotional,” she said.

Colonel Jay Naicker said the police have opened a common assault case against a 47-year-old woman after she allegedly poisoned her employer’s family.

“The unknown substance that the employer found in her possession will be sent for analysis. The docket will be forwarded to the National Prosecuting Authority for a decision,” Naicker said.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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