Food poisoning kills children

Two children died while four others were hospitalised with suspected food poisoning after eating chicken bought from a woman in Samora Machel, Philippi.

After the deaths of Anele Ngqiba, 6, and Asemahle Ngqiba, 4, respectively on Monday and Sunday, the former’s mother, and latter’s grandmother, Nophelo Ngqiba, was too distraught to speak to the media, except to say:“I’m heartbroken and still in shock.

This is not easy (to bear), especially the images of seeing my granddaughter die in front of me.”

Neighbhour Thandiswa Jikijela, who was among 16 people who ate the chicken at Ngqiba’s home in Zephany Mothopent Street, spoke on behalf of the grieving woman.

She said two other boys Luphumlo, 12, and Ovayo, 8, who are nephews of Ms Ngqiba’s (with the same surname) were being treated in ICU at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, where a niece Sibahle, 5, (also with the same surname) was also undergoing treatment.

Ms Jikijela explained that the people, including herself, had eaten the chicken.

All had been hospitalised, with Ms Ngqiba’s partner, Albert Mxolisi, admitted to ICU at Groote Schuur Hospital on Monday.

The rest were discharged from hospital after having undergone food-poisoning tests.

Explaining the sequence of events, Ms Jikijela said Ms Ngqiba’s 15-year-old daughter had cooked the chicken and served it as Sunday lunch, and “later that day (Asemahle) had seizures and died on the spot”. “The second child (Anele) died the next day about 11am, when he had been playing outside. He vomited and had hot flushes and we poured water over him, because he was getting weaker and weaker.

“We took him to the clinic where he died,” she said. Another neighbour, Fikiswa Kalimashe, who pleaded to the public for assistance for the Ngqiba family, explained that they were destitute, with no funeral insurance.

She said that people who want to assist the family can call Thandiswa Jikijela on 0724262902.

Police spokesperson Andre Traut said: “This office can confirm that death inquest case dockets are under investigation, following incidents where young children have succumbed after (suspected food- poisoning) in Samora Machel in the Nyanga area, since April 2.‘‘Postmortems will be conducted to determine the cause of their deaths.”

– Cape Times