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Possible poisonous food investigated as family members and a child perish in separate incidents

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Free State


BLOEMFONTEIN - Two Inquest dockets were opened in Mangaung Metro and are being investigated separately. On Tuesday, 11 April 2023, the police received a complaint from Dr J.S Moroka Hospital at about 00:46. The patrol vehicle was despatched to attend, and upon arrival the nurses pointed out three people who arrived at the hospital for treatment and had already passed on.

It is suspected that the patients had consumed poisonous food prepared at home. Two others who survived explained to the nurses that the family had spaghetti and mince for supper and thereafter started vomiting. Three family members; 55-year-old mother, 28-year-old daughter and 3-year-old grandson died possibly because of the food they had for supper. Two other family members received treatment at Pelonomi Hospital. The food suspected to have poison was collected by Local Criminal Records Centre personnel and sent for analysis at the National Forensic Science Laboratory.

In another incident, the police at Kopanong were called to Chris Hani Settlement near Bloemfontein on Saturday 22 April 2023 at about 12:10. On arrival the members found the 3-year-old boy lying motionless on the couch inside the house. The police were informed that the 25-year-old mother bought Joker Strawberry Cream biscuits at the local store. It is alleged that the 3-year-old boy consumed the biscuits with friends, and the friends were rushed to the hospital for treatment and observation.

Emergency Services personnel declared the boy dead. The police visited the local store and collected all similar products, packed them and sent them also for analysis at the National Forensic Science Laboratory. Investigation in both cases continues.


Lt Col Thabo Covane
082 461 7473