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South African School Children Hospitalised After Consuming Dagga-Laced ‘Space Cookies'

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

An alarming incident has unfolded in Gauteng after approximately 90 learners from Pulamadibogo Primary School, Soshanguve were hospitalised on Wednesday, following the alleged consumption of ‘space cookies’ which are suspected to be laced with dagga.

The incident was confirmed by Steve Mabona, the spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education. The affected students spanned multiple age groups, from Grade R to Grade 7. After consuming the cookies, symptoms swiftly emerged, including stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. Mabona revealed that the children had purchased the cookies from a local street vendor on their way to school.

Upon noticing unexpected behaviour among the learners, school educators promptly sought the assistance of emergency services. The affected children were initially attended to within the school premises; however, due to the severity of their conditions, they were rapidly transported to various medical facilities for monitoring and treatment.

As the rumour of the incident spread, concern spiked among parents, who immediately flocked to the school. Recognizing the distress amidst the parents and among the school community, police were called to the scene. Investigation of the incident is ongoing, with a key element being the identification and subsequent investigation of the implicated street vendor.

Provincial Education Department MEC, Matome Chilhoane, expressed grave concern about the incident and called for understanding and patience from parents while investigations are underway and the affected learners receive treatment. Chiloane also implored learners to exercise caution regarding their food purchases, especially the vendors they patronise.

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