Four children in the Eastern Cape have died after consuming a toxic substance at a dumping site in NU30, Motherwell, on Sunday afternoon.
Three-year-old Alunamda Mqawu, his sister, 10-year-old Zintle, as well as siblings five-year-old Alizwa and 11-year-old Asive Rhwayibana died after being rushed to the Motherwell health centre.
A seven-year-old survived the ordeal.
"All the children were apparently playing at the dump, which is close to their homes, and ate some foodstuff they found there.
"There are rumours doing the rounds that they ate tainted chips and cheese, but the police will only be able to get an idea of the cause of their deaths once post-mortems and forensic tests have been conducted," police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said in a statement on Monday.
A formal inquest docket has been opened, and the police are calling on anyone with information that could assist the investigation to come forward.
Motherwell cluster commander Major General Dawie Rabie conveyed his condolences to all the families affected by the tragedy.
"A stern warning has also been given to the community in the area not to consume anything found on rubbish dumps," Beetge said.