Muystery fumes kill two boys in Dundee

2011-07-18 00:00

POLICE are investigating the possibility that a toxic herb may have caused the death of two young children on a farm in the Dundee area late last week, but their father says they did not burn any herb.

The father, Sizwe Ziqubu, was recovering in hospital yesterday along with his spouse Thembisile Mngadi and son Sibusiso Mngadi (11).

Ziqubu denied in a telephone interview with The Witness that the family were using muthi supplied by a traditional healer when they were overcome by fumes from an unknown source in their home last Thursday.

He said the family has lived on the farm for the past seven years without any problems.

Ziqubu said the family were not burning any herbs, but were “sitting as usual” when they started to feel dizzy and collapsed in the house.

A neighbour broke a window the following morning to gain entry to the home and raised the alarm.

The occupants were all rushed to hospital, but two boys, eight-year-old Mxolisi Mngadi and one-year-old Thembelani Mngadi, died.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mndunge said the police are still waiting for the results of the post-mortems carried out on the bodies of the children.

He said police are trying to verify a report that the family had obtained a herb from a traditional healer that was being burnt with the intention of healing the father and one of the children who was suffering from a headache.

Social Development MEC Meshack Radebe visited the victims in hospital after learning of the incident at the weekend. A spokesperson for the MEC, Sifiso Buthelezi, said the investigation is being handled by the police.

He said the house was locked after the incident and no one wanted to enter it in case they too were affected by the fumes.

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