Siblings die from suspected food poisoning

Elias Vedala broke down as he described how his two children died from what is suspected to be food poisoning.

Tears flowed uncontrollably as the heartbroken, Elias Vedala, details the horrific death of his two children who died last Wednesday of what is suspected to be food poisoning.

Maria, 4, and her little brother Mzwandile, 1, died after they had eaten crumbled maize with sour milk together with their elder brother, Tshepo and mother, Cynthia.

They also had eaten chocolate Easter eggs on Tuesday April 6 and the following day, the children died.

When Vukani visited the family at their home in Samora Machel last Thursday, sharp screams of disbelief and shock could be heard from outside the house as relatives, friends and neighbours gathered to console the grieving family.

“I didn’t eat the sour milk with maize meal. Instead I opted to eat meat. So my wife and children ate it,“ said Mr Vedala.

“We had chocolate afterwards. But after supper everyone complained about painful and runny stomachs.

“But we did not take it seriously. We all thought it would go away. The next day I could not go to work because I was not feeling well and I was very weak.

“But my daughter Maria had already started to vomit while my son did not show any signs of being sick at first.

“We informed the neighbours to call ambulance and we rushed to the police station where we found the ambulance waiting for us.

“The ambulance could not come to us because there was no police vehicle to escort it. The paramedic tried as much as possible to save the lives of my children but it was too late,” he said.

He silently wept and asked why God had taken his two young children.

Elias Vedala could no longer contain his emotions.

The 50-year-old father of five said his children were still too young to die and that his wife was not taking the news well.

He described his children as wonderful souls who brought joy to his life and motivated him to do better as a father and ensure that they had everything they wanted.

He said is worried about his remaining son and regularly checks up on him to make sure he is okay.

“If God does exist why did he allow my children to die? Why did he not prevent this? I just don’t understand why would he let them die when they were so young,” he said.

Samora Machel police station commander, Colonel Elliot Lingani said an inquest docket had been opened at the station but at this stage he could not confirm what might have killed the children.

He said samples of what the family ate had been taken to a state laboratory and they were still waiting for the results of the tests.