Nearly 90 Soshanguve pupils were discharged from the hospital following an incident when they were hospitalised after consuming cookies laced with dagga. According to IOL, the 87 learners from Pulamadibogo Primary School, north of Tshwane, have been discharged from the Dr. George Mukhari Academic Hospital.
The learners were admitted to the hospital on Wednesday and have since been released. According to MEC Matome Chiloane, the Gauteng executive council member (MEC) for education, their health has significantly improved. Chiloane revealed that only three female learners remain in the hospital and receive medical attention to facilitate their full recovery.
Chiloane expressed relief that the hospital discharged the affected learners following the unfortunate incident and extended wishes for a swift recovery to the remaining students.
Police investigations into the circumstances surrounding the incident are still ongoing.
The incident unfolded when at least 90 learners from Pulamadibogo Primary School were rushed to local medical facilities after experiencing symptoms such as nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting suspected to result from consuming space cookies.
According to Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona, staff believed that the learners, ranging from Grade R to Grade 7, ingested what appeared to be muffins laced with dagga (space cookies) that they purchased from a street vendor on their way to school. Educators at the school observed “strange behaviour” from the learners in class, prompting them to call emergency services.
“All 90 affected learners were attended to by emergency services on school premises. However, they were all subsequently rushed to different medical facilities where their condition would be monitored,” said Mabona.
The police arrived because the distressed parents were concerned about their children’s safety. The staff identified the street vendor responsible for selling the suspected space cookies, and a police investigation is underway.
An anti-drug organisation, the World Changers Candidates, recently raised concerns about the widespread use of drugs and intoxicating substances among South African learners, some as young as those in lower grades. Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Lucas Mahlakgane, the founder of World Changers Candidates, emphasised that drug usage among South African learners is prevalent and suggested that schools should not be solely blamed for incidents outside school hours or off school premises.
Mahlakgane noted disturbing practices such as children adding alcohol to their juice and called attention to the availability of drugs from vendors to students during breaks, even on school property.
South Africa is grappling with what Mahlakgane described as a concerning drug issue among its youth.
Picture: X / DessertPassion
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