Two girls, their father and the family cat die after eating bean soup, aunt arrested. Free State police have arrested a woman following the death of two of her nieces, aged 10 and 14, their father, and the family cat, who ate bean soup she made for them.
A third niece, aged 11, is in hospital.According to police, the family ate the soup before they left for work and school.
At around 10:00, the sisters complained of stomach cramps at Utopia Farm School, police spokesperson Captain Phumelelo Dhlamini said.
Teachers took them to a Bethlehem clinic where two of them died. the third is receiving treatment in Phekolong hospital’s ICU.
Their father fell ill at work and was also admitted to Phekolong hospital, where he later died, Dhlamini added.
The family cat was found dead after it ate the same soup.
Preliminary investigation has revealed that their aunt cooked and fed them the soup for breakfast but she ate none of it. She could not give a satisfactory reason [to explain] why she got rid of the soup that was left inside the pot.
The 21-year-old woman is expected to appear in the Bethlehem Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe said the education department was “devastated to receive news of the death of these learners”.
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Senior officials visited the family to offer support, and counselling has been provided to teachers and fellow pupils.
“We are deeply saddened by these untimely deaths and wish to convey our condolences to the family who lost their children in this tragic way,” he said.
At least four other children died due to poisoning, allegedly by a parent, in the last two months.
A 37-year-old Gauteng mother appeared in court for allegedly poisoning her two children earlier this month. A 16-year-old boy died and a 7-year-old girl was hospitalised. She allegedly poisoned the children after she was scammed out of a large amount of money.
Last month, a man was arrested for allegedly using laced energy drinks to poison his children. Three siblings – aged 16, 13 and 6 – died, and a fourth was hospitalised.