New dad in ICU after spiked drink

2012-02-24 09:07

Johannesburg - A young Kempton Park man is fighting for his life in hospital after going out with friends to celebrate the imminent arrival of his baby - and falling victim to a suspected spiked drink.

Travis van Niekerk, 21, missed the birth of his son after being rushed to Arwyp Hospital’s ICU a few minutes after coming home following his night out  at a club in Boksburg, reported The Times.

Van Niekerk’s mother said he had gone out to celebrate in anticipation of the birth of his son.

Doctors found a barbiturate (a kind of sedative) in his blood, which has caused him to have several fits.

Van Niekerk’s father said the past few days had been “hell”.


Van Niekerk and a friend, Jaco van Wyk, went to Presley’s in Boksburg at about 22:00 on Saturday and left before midnight.

Before leaving the club, Van Niekerk called his mother to say he and Van Wyk weren’t feeling well.

Van Niekerk and Van Wyk started having convulsions and Van Niekerk was taken to hospital.

Van Wyk was not admitted to hospital. He said he remembered nothing after sipping Van Niekerk’s drink and that he had felt sick the morning after, vomiting etc.

He said they had left a drink unattended on their table and when they got back to the table, they saw it had been moved but thought nothing of it at the time.

Van Niekerk’s son was born on Sunday morning.

Nightclub management said there was a zero tolerance of drugs at the club and that a man had been arrested after being found in possession of illegal substances.

  • leslie.rabie - 2012-02-24 09:14

    NEVER EVER leave your drink unattended!

      Marion - 2012-02-24 09:18

      Amen to that.

      Eduard - 2012-02-24 09:27

      My drink was spiked in Thailand. The people that spiked it, were working/ serving me drinks.....go figure!!! It is not only about leaving drinks alone, but also about the law needs to step in and severely punish culprits People should get the same sentence as an attempted murder.

      Donovan - 2012-02-24 09:33

      Sorry to say but who would waste drugs spiking these fellas? Something tells me sonny boy was celebrating the birth of his kid with contraband. And he should have been in the hospital, not in the club. Anyway, hope he survives and thinks about what's what. Ekse.

      Chantelle - 2012-02-24 09:40

      @donovan jackson are you for real? did you not just read the article? barbiturate, a sedative, was found in his blood - who goes out to have a good time doing drugs, by taking a sedative? maybe you are the one that needs to think...

      Fredster - 2012-02-24 09:42

      Mr Miagi: Best way to avoid punch...not be there...

      Donovan - 2012-02-24 09:43

      Read this Pulchritudinous. And ask yourself how likely the story *really* is. I was 21 once, OK, look, I never impregnated anyone and then went on the jol while they were in labour, but hey it happens.

      Sizah - 2012-02-24 09:50

      I learned my lesson about 8 months ago, was @ house warming party & 2 women raped me, lucky enough did not contract any STD's but i was traumatised by the experience... guyz be careful: NEVER EVER LEAVE YOUR DRINK UNATTENDED!!!!

      Marion - 2012-02-24 10:17

      @dlawre30 - in order to rob them? Steal the car? Treat him as people treat bachelors at a bachelor party? @jonathan - I checked out a link where people were discussing their use of barbiturates for 'recreation'. One person posted this: Barbiturates have a track record of death. The dose response curve is steep. The recreational dose isn't too far from the coma/death dose. Another mentioned that one of the side effects is extreme vomiting. Having read all the comments by people who obviously use drugs, I agree with you that barbiturates are used as a recreational drug.

      Searcher - 2012-02-24 10:41

      The fantasy and the reality never gels; however, we should live in a society where we can go out and not be worried about people using pharmaceuticals to induce their will upon us. I was engaged to a woman a couple of years ago. We went out dancing at the Beach Hotel and Flukes Restaurant. My fiance was raped and myself left in a stupor. I still believe to this day that members of the staff were involved. This relationship died that night; since I could not to my shame get over the incident. I can not suppress the murderous feelings I have against the staff and management there; who did not assist; but hindered my efforts to find my fiance after I had regained some semblance of sanity. Only her credit cards, cash and her sanity was stolen and a relationship was ruined. Name and shame the establishments where this is allowed. Beach Hotel in Glencairne and the Flukes restaurant.

      Lucille - 2012-02-24 10:57

      @ Searcher, that is such a sad story I hope the both of you have managed to come to peace with what happened to the both of you. Unfortunately mostly women get the help/ treatment needed to come to terms with thing like this. Your reaction is normal though I think most guys would be the same. good luck.

      Marion - 2012-02-24 11:08

      @Searcher - I am so sorry to hear about the ordeal you and your fiance went through. I hope that you both one day find at least a semblance of peace. Experiences like that destroy lives, as your story proves. xxx

  • Tandas - 2012-02-24 09:22

    Who goes to a night club hours before his child is born... Ha ha! Nee f0k!

      looneylani - 2012-02-24 09:25


      Pulverturm - 2012-02-24 09:27

      Someone from the east rand :) *run*

      Lebo - 2012-02-24 09:30

      A 21 year old...

      Julie - 2012-02-24 09:35

      I also wonder why he went there shortly before the birth of his child; he should have been with his WIFE or FAMILY........

      John - 2012-02-24 09:38

      Tandas, People go to clubs to enjoy themselves, not to get spiked. If people celebrate differently than you...that doesn't makes you a judge of their life. Probably you don't drive a car becuse you might get a flat tire?

      Yolanda - 2012-02-24 09:46

      Going to the night club on that night shows a high level of irresponsibility.

      Bennie - 2012-02-24 09:48

      Only in Kempton......

      Searcher - 2012-02-24 10:44

      Not everyone shares in your views as to how to celebrate. This still does not justify him being a crime victim.

      Karri - 2012-02-24 11:06

      You took the words right off my keyboard!

      Kerry - 2012-02-24 11:25

      exactly WTF is he doing in a club should he not have been with the child's mother??????????

      Arthur - 2012-02-24 12:20

      EEESS TANDAS!!!!What if she had a planned C-section, maybe he got his girl friend’s blessings to go out because she wanted to rest before going to the Hospital, What if she was only due in two weeks. Allot of what ifs isn’t it .Dont judge

      Jaco - 2012-02-24 15:54

      He was still a kid man ! one thinks differently at that age !

  • David - 2012-02-24 09:23

    Why would somebody do this?

      John - 2012-02-24 09:44

      For same reason sports car are made "MAKES THE UGLY MAN LAID" I hope is not some if his mates to make his "buddy trashed" That will be realy disgusting.

  • John - 2012-02-24 09:24

    This place was in the news recently?

      miyo27 - 2012-02-24 11:36


      presleys.boksburg - 2012-02-24 11:52

      Yes john for arresting someone for drugs. For the record he was arrested at the door by my security after being searched.

      Arthur - 2012-02-24 13:46

      So it was not a raid

      kerrimg - 2012-02-24 14:36

      yes with cops raided and a person was killed in their presence

  • adam.leighton - 2012-02-24 09:25

    Drink Beer from a Bottle... and hold it at all times lol

      Klipkop - 2012-02-24 09:56

      and repeat but dont drive haha

      Johan - 2012-02-24 10:37

      And drink it at home.

  • Peter - 2012-02-24 09:28

    Is this a new breed of dads, partying a storm while wifey is in labour?

      Makosha - 2012-02-24 09:40

      Say it again, Peter!Its a shame. Is that the way of giving support and caring for ur loved one going through that "labour" and u have fun with friends? Drinking?Ai am so confused now.

      symbolofmylife - 2012-02-24 10:33

      Its not mentioned anywhere that he is married to the mother...yeeeha!!!! Boksburg rules!!!!

  • louwc - 2012-02-24 09:28

    Eyedrops, especially "Eyegene" will do that...

      Lebo - 2012-02-24 09:58

      Eish now you're giving them (spikers)ideas!!!

      Diaan - 2012-02-24 14:51

      louwc , me think that is an urban legend

  • Craig - 2012-02-24 09:31

    Likely story indeed, ask them what they took and it might help.............

      Donovan - 2012-02-24 09:33

      I'm with you on this one Craig.

  • Monti - 2012-02-24 09:31

    Never go to Presleys its East Rand Mentality

      Gareth - 2012-02-24 12:01

      We party hard!

      kerrimg - 2012-02-24 14:33

      @ Beannie do you know that east rand runs from Alberton all the way to Springs. where do you stay

  • Hallo - 2012-02-24 09:41


  • Yolanda - 2012-02-24 09:44

    My rule of thumb is if I leave my drink unattended even for a minute, I don't carry on drinking it. I get another drink. I'm not very trusting!

      stevemoss4 - 2012-02-24 09:50

      my rule is to finish my drink before putting it down anywaher

      Lucia - 2012-02-24 12:36

      Steve... that is also my philosephy!! Mine is mine!!

  • Cathy - 2012-02-24 09:46

    I hope that he recovers, but... What father goes to celebrate before the birth of his baby? At 21 I know partying is all you think about, but if you were dumb enough to get a girl pregnant with all the contraception out there, it is time to step up and be responsible! And EVERYONE knows not to leave a drink unattended...

  • Ilse Illy Benecke - 2012-02-24 09:46

    Travis we praying for u!! I know that by the grace of God u will be ok!! Ur strong man! Teresa and I are praying for u and ur loved ones!

  • Andre - 2012-02-24 09:50

    What also happens, and this has happend, they, the bar spikes the ice, and every drink u buy has ice in it, and those kind of spiked drinks, just make u drink faster, and yes u get very drunk very fast, and then u get robbed by the bar ladies when u pass out, If u have to go to the toilet, take your drink with, and only drink something that is bought in a bottle, if u forot to take your drink, or left it un attended go and buy a new drink, your life is much more worth than a drink,

  • bvanniekerk2 - 2012-02-24 09:51

    Sick sick people in this world may the wheel turn !

  • Johan - 2012-02-24 09:56

    unfortunately men believe that they cannot fall into this trap where their drinks are spiked ... you guys are equally at risk, hey ...there are weird people out there ... the victim here's wife was probably in hospital already being prepped for the ceasarean ...

  • Lee - 2012-02-24 10:05

    I think EVERY person must be searched to extreme, including staff working at whichever club otherwise the onerous is on the owner. They need to have more control. I mean they have bounces for fights or checking age etc at doors so why not go to extra length to search all and everything before they enter and if they go out the doors they must be searched again. The owner must then be held responsible which I think will control this type of thing better. And if you on medication, you should not be out anyway so no excuse even having medication in ones handbag or pocket.

  • rjenkinson7 - 2012-02-24 10:09

    He should have been at the hosp with his partner instead of a club.

      elmathapo - 2012-02-24 10:17

      true that

  • elmathapo - 2012-02-24 10:16

    Spike that drink!!!

  • Michelle - 2012-02-24 10:25

    presleys - say no more- horrid place!!!!!! should shut it down!!

      Searcher - 2012-02-24 11:05

      Name and shame. Anywhere a drink is spiked should be public knowledge!

  • Snoopy.zn - 2012-02-24 10:29

    Geez, you would think, being able to concEIve a child, you would be able to think too.. How many times do people have to be warned, DONT LEAVE YOUR DRINK UNATTENDED!!!

  • symbolofmylife - 2012-02-24 10:30

    Boksburg FTW!!!!! KOMMIN!!!!

  • Duncan Thabiso Mphailane - 2012-02-24 10:31

    Its their culture! If they're not busy with satanic rituals, they're busy poisoning each other. :-(SMH

      Yolandè Rwaai - 2012-02-24 10:38

      "They" being whom in this case?

      Naledi Mabindla - 2012-02-26 08:25

      Not a fair comment Duncan.what u said is very wrong and uncooth!please go and re learn manners

  • dracolusus - 2012-02-24 10:52

    @Donovan Jackson I'm sorry, I had a younth spent high on drugs. Unless you are a complete retard, there would be no way in hell someone with go DRINKING and take barbiturate to celebrate! Please go troll another page. I've been spiked and it was the absolute pits. Would not wish it upon anyone.

      Marion - 2012-02-24 11:19

      @dracolusus - Don't know why you find it necessary to call Jonathan a troll. He was simply stating his opinion like the rest of us. Doesn't make him right or wrong. Just an opinion. Maybe people who had a youth spent high on drugs would know the dangers associated with drinking and taking barbiturates. But not everyone is aware of the dangers associated with different types of drugs.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-02-24 10:52

    Never drink anything from a glass!!!, with ice or a wide enough open space for someone to drop something in your drink, and never turn your back on your drink... This is happening everywhere.... Fourways area its big!!!

      Marion - 2012-02-24 11:11

      I've seen recommendations that one should only ever accept a bottle and then ensure you break the seal yourself. When I was enjoying my misspent youth we never had to worry about this kind of s**t happening to us. This world becomes more sick by the day. Dog eat dog.

  • Kevin - 2012-02-24 11:05

    only drink in pubs with cameras

  • Searcher - 2012-02-24 11:07

    Any case where a drink is spiked; free will is taken out of the equation. This is akin to kidnapping and should carry the same sanction.

  • Nasiefa - 2012-02-24 11:10

    never leaving a drink unattended is a "rule" us girls use when going to clubs, guess guys also have to be careful nowadays !

  • natasha.fukuchi - 2012-02-24 11:15

    Presley's in Boksburg is notorious for spiked drinks - a friend of mine's brother collapsed and stopped breathing in the club after his drink was spiked - and this was more than 10 years ago! Who knows how many people have had their drinks spiked in that dump... :/ So sad that he's missed the birth of his son because of some inconsiderate, spiteful moron. I hope he recovers soon - are there any updates on this story because it's been almost a week already? Is he still in hospital?

  • Truthis - 2012-02-24 11:17

    I find that my 10th tequila is always spiked. I can never remember anything after that one.

      louwc - 2012-02-24 11:39

      ek bestel altyd dubbel wiskey, maar hulle gee my dubble Tipex en coke, dan onthou ek niks...!

  • Ryno - 2012-02-24 11:27

    Presley's, dit help niks julle tree reaktief op nie. Sort julle stront uit, daar is duidelik iets nie reg daar by julle nie

  • SGL - 2012-02-24 11:30

    We always worry about our daughters but we now worry about our sons. My 2 (who are older than this poor unfortunate boy) still get a lecture every time they go clubbing. If you have left a drink unattended, throw it out, always insist on unopened bottles/tins, make the barman pour your drink in full view, insist on him wiping out your glass before pouring. Be particular or a pain in the @@@ about your drinks but at least you'll be safe!

  • presleys.boksburg - 2012-02-24 11:42

    My name is Chris da silva the owner of Presleys Night Club, it is easy to comment about a club, not knowing what its about, the club turns 20 years old on the 3rd October 2012. In 20 years of police raids at all 4 of my clubs never has a drug, under age or weapon been found on my premises my record speaks for itself for those of you who have never been to presleys rather than condon it come and see what its all about then comment. I am a father of 3 children and have 5 grand children the way i treat my children is the same way i would treat other peoples children, i am sorry for what has happened to Travis it has only happened twice in my club in 20 years, we do our utmost to keep drugs out of the club, experience it for yourself.

      Piet - 2012-02-24 11:47

      Ja Ja Ja whatever!!!!!!!

      Gareth - 2012-02-24 11:58

      Chris, Was this issue on the same night as that Rean Ramdin fella was shot? He was arrested at your club wasn't he? Maybe someone heard that the cops were coming and dumped their drugs into Travis drink?

      Searcher - 2012-02-24 14:09

      Your club used to be an ice skating rink where the whole family could go. This is too economically insufficient and you'd rather destroy lives than build great memories. There is no compassion for you here.

  • Piet - 2012-02-24 11:44

    rather celebrate your "faterhood" with family at home and NOT WHITHOUT your wife!!! Why at a club like presleys?

  • annelize.jerling - 2012-02-24 11:54

    you go out to celebrate BEFORE the birth? ja nee...

  • Plankie - 2012-02-24 12:03

    He should of been by his wife side!!!

      Nyiks11 - 2012-02-24 13:19

      his pregnant sister you mean ? Don't forget this is Boksbarag we are talking about

  • Valeasha Van Aswegen - 2012-02-24 12:07

    Well I really hope travis survives, and my cousin was also drugged at that club on a wednesday, she had asked the barmen to rinse her glass without thinking and 10 minutes after drinking from that same glass she had passed out and was vomiting, she was lucky enough to have survived.

      wendy.breedt - 2012-02-24 12:16

      I can only sit back and shake my head for all the remarks here today!!!!!!! my nephew died 3 weeks ago EXACTLY the way Elzaan Kriel died, and EXACTLY the same symptoms as Travis van Niekerk - but (16 years of age) he DID'NT MAKE it - so...... Donovan Jackson I can say a lot of things to you - but shame, lets not go there BECAUSE YOU DO NOT HAVE A CLUE!!!! SEARCHER thank you for your comments you're a wise man. This incident happened at a normal party!!!!!! and YES. WE (EVEN A 16 YEAR OLD) SOULD BE ABLE TO GO OUT? or what do you suggest mr CLEVER "DONOVAN JACKSON" must every teenager sit at home and watch CARTOONS Phleeeeeeaze get a live and get real - there are people out there that has got their own agenda - if only we knew what it was!

      sindydt - 2012-02-24 13:22

      Very unlikely that It will get into your system after 3 sips or 10 min according to wiki.answers it takes 20-30min to take effect and will last between 8 and 12 hours. Your cousin must have consumed it before asking the barman to rinse the glass.

  • presleys.boksburg - 2012-02-24 12:19

    My name is Chris Da Silva the owner of Presleys Night Club, let me answer all your comments?

      Valeasha Van Aswegen - 2012-02-24 12:22

      You should check your staff, cause it was ur barman that spiked my cousins drink, she asked him to rinse the glass and 10 minutes after not even after 3 sips she fell down and started vomiting, that was only her second drink, so what do u say about that?

  • Mildly_Amused - 2012-02-24 12:52

    I've never been to Presleys, but I'm sure this type of thing can happen (and has happened) at any nightclub. The onus is on the individual to be careful about what they drink and all that. Not really fair to all start bashing the club...

  • sindydt - 2012-02-24 13:02

    Please look at this link and then still try and blame Presleys. Honestly get a grip is happens everywhere not just at clubs.

      Nicky Steyn - 2012-03-20 11:17

      Thank you every one for praying for my boyfriend travis van niekerk... Just to let everyone know his ex-girlfriend was pregnant with his son we were at presleys before we got the phone call of his beautiful son being born we rushed home so that we could get ready to go through for the birth of his son then travis started to have fits and he stopped breathing, he was admitted to hospital and was sedated for a week we found the drug witch he was spiked with in his blood stream.We all decided that we will not ever go to presleys again as its dangerous not only for women but men two as anyone can be spiked,this has been a very traumatizing event for us and we warn all teens and all adults agaisnt this.Things are going much better with travis now and he is enjoying every second with his family and his son. Thank you for everyone's prayers for travis and his family and friends we appreciate it a lot

  • kerrimg - 2012-02-24 14:35

    its strange its the same club the cops raided and the person was killed inthe police presents. never leave you drink un attended, same club used to soak the glassed in some type of chemical so you can get drunk quicker. go to a pub or something its alot safer

      sindydt - 2012-02-24 14:48

      The chemical compound called alcohol is what makes you drunk and dizzy.

  • Michael - 2012-02-24 14:37

    A lot of people commenting he should not have been out etc etc the point is it happened and if he was not there would have been someone else , the emphasis is on how dangerous spiking can be and can happen anywhere you might do it as a joke and kill someone , not cool

  • Kevin - 2012-02-24 14:53

    Beware of ONE STOP in the Sharktank....seems to be favourite place for spikers!!!

  • customdesign - 2012-02-24 15:31

    Last week a cop shot someone at Presleys in the back due to drugs and this week someone is fighting for their life after their drink was spiked. Wonder what is going on there?

  • eradingoana - 2012-02-24 16:37

    Why don't people buy take away? It is safe to drink with family around than being there to compete in credit cards and heavy wallets.

  • Quinette du Toit - 2012-02-24 19:22

    How is it that a week ago presleys was the best place to go dancing and now because of one insident its so crap???I won't wish what happend to travis on anybody but he should have been by the mother of his child. Everybody is just making roomers up but what if it was your child?

  • Judy - 2012-02-25 00:19

    It might be irresponsible to go to a club/bar while your wife is in labour, but that is besides the point. He had every right to be there and enjoy the evening with his friend, without having to worry about his drink being spiked! What a shame. I hope he'll be ok.

  • Annelize Delport - 2012-02-26 10:47

    Travis, you have a lot of friends in Scottburgh who cares for you. And as a mother of one of the local boys, I would thank the local boys who send messages to pray and lit a candle for your recovery. Wow, that was awesomeness. We thank God that you are OK, and may you and the little family be blessed. Your boy is beautiful.

  • Andrew - 2012-02-29 14:09

    FYI... Barbiturate Abuse Overview Barbiturates are a group of drugs in the class of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics, which generally describes their sleep-inducing and anxiety-decreasing effects. History of use and abuse Barbiturates were first used in medicine in the early 1900s and became popular in the 1960s and 1970s as treatment for anxiety, insomnia, or seizure disorders. With the popularity of barbiturates in the medical population, barbiturates as drugs of abuse evolved as well. Barbiturates were abused to reduce anxiety, decrease inhibitions, and treat unwanted effects of illicit drugs. Barbiturates can be extremely dangerous because the correct dose is difficult to predict. Even a slight overdose can cause coma or death. Barbiturates are also addictive and can cause a life-threatening withdrawal syndrome.

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