Two boys from Naledi in Soweto died after eating biscuits suspected to be poisonous they had bought at a spaza shop.
Two Boys Killed By Suspected Poisonous Biscuits
Gour boys bought the biscuits from a nearby foreign-owned spaza shop of 1 October 2023. Pakistani nationals own the spaza shop along Kgaleshewe Street. After eating the biscuits, the four kids fell ill and started vomiting some pink substance. However, two survived and are in critical condition in hospital, while two died.
Paramedics declared Leon Jele (6) and Neo Kgang (4) dead upon arrival at the clinic.
South African Police Service spokesperson Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi said the cause of death is yet to be ascertained:
“Police are investigating circumstances surrounding the cause of which is unknown at this stage, pending post-mortem results.”
Police have since opened an inquest docket. The incident sparked outrage and protests in the Naledi community, as residents accused the spaza shop owner of deliberately poisoning the children. The police intervened to prevent the shop from being looted and burned down. SAPS arrested the shop owner and took him into custody for further investigation.
Some sources claim that the biscuits had either expired or contaminated with rat poison. The samples of the biscuits are now at a laboratory for testing. The families of the victims are demanding justice and compensation from the shop owner and the government.
An eyewitness, Loshi Marupa, told EWN news that he drove the children to a local clinic in Naledi:
“The seven-year-old one told us that they bought the biscuits from the Pakistanis, and the children shared them. That’s how four of them got sick.”
Social Media Outrage
South Africans on X are furious over the incident and expressed mixed sentiments.
“I long taught my children not to buy from Pakistanis.”
“We also shut them down around my neighbourhood.”
“Yho, today my child bought two packets of snacks. It expired in July 2022. It’s not all about hate. It’s all about our children’s health.”