Three siblings aged six, 13 and 16 died after being given energy drinks allegedly by their father before leaving for school in Ratanda, Gauteng.
The Gauteng department of education said in a statement on Thursday that a preliminary report alleged that the father gave five of the children the energy drinks in the morning while they were preparing for school.
Four of his children consumed the energy drinks at school.
Two of the learners died at the school after complaining of stomach pains while the third one died on his way to the hospital. The fourth learner is in a critical condition in the hospital.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has expressed his devastation after the tragic deaths.
“Firstly, I want to convey my sincerest condolences to the family, particularly the mother of the deceased learners. I further extend my condolences to friends, fellow learners and teachers of the learners, especially those who witnessed the incident,” said Lesufi.
He plans to visit the family and both the Ratanda Primary School and Lesedi Secondary School on Friday. The cause of death is not yet known as law-enforcement agencies are still investigating.
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