Father of siblings who died after drinking energy drink he gave them overdoses on pills

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Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the schools of the siblings who died after drinking energy drinks which their father had given them before school. Photo: Gauteng education department. Photo: Twitter
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the schools of the siblings who died after drinking energy drinks which their father had given them before school. Photo: Gauteng education department. Photo: Twitter

NEWS


The father of the three boys who died after drinking energy drinks he gave them was found unconscious at their home in Ratanda, Heidelberg in Gauteng.

Family spokesperson Johannes Khoabane said the father was absent from work all week.

Khoabane said: 

The father did not drink the poisoned energy drink, but overdosed on pills in an attempt to kill himself and then later started cutting himself on his throat and body with a broken bottle after he saw people from the community starting to gather around his house.

The children – aged six, 13 and 16 – complained of stomach pain when they arrived at school. Two died at the scene while the third died en route to hospital on Thursday.

The fourth sibling is in a critical condition in hospital, while the fifth did not consume the energy drink.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the siblings’ schools, Ratanda Primary School and Khanya Lesedi Secondary School, on Friday.

“The department has dispatched its psychosocial support unit to the affected schools to offer counselling to the school and the community at large. The services have also been offered to the bereaved family,” said the provincial education department.

Preliminary reports point to the father having given all five children energy drinks while they were preparing for school.

The police are investigating.

Said Brigadier Brenda Muridili:

It is alleged that he might be involved in poisoning his children.


Khoabane said the father was the only one who could explain what transpired.

When we asked his friends what was going on with him, as he did not usually talk a lot, they also said they did not know anything.

Lesufi said it pained him that he had to lecture learners about death rather than opportunities.

The MEC said the family needed help and support.

He said:

I want to thank the local leadership for coming together during this difficult time. We might differ somewhere, but when something like this hits us, we have no choice but to cover ourselves with one blanket and move together.

Khoabane said while the family was in pain, they were also grateful for the support and comfort from the community and government.


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