2 kids die after eating food at dumpsite

2 kids die after eating food at dumpsite

BEREA – ‘Malimakatso Rantšo briefly left her two grandchildren to search for firewood. When she returned, they were gone – never to return alive.

For Rantšo losing her two grandchildren meant the end of the world for her. Her two grandchildren, aged 8 and 10, died after eating poisoned food at a dumpsite on Friday night.

She said on the fateful day her two grandchildren left home around 8am in the morning to play in the vicinity where she could see them.
However, she left them alone as she dashed to get some firewood to cook the morning meal.
“When I returned, the children were nowhere to be found,” she said.

Rantšo told thepost that she immediately launched a search for the grandchildren and she saw them with two of their friends walking in the direction of Ha-Ramachini.
Knowing they would come back home, she decided to leave them to play.

By evening, the two were not yet back. She was getting ready to prepare dinner when her neighbours arrived and asked about the whereabouts of the kids.
“In my mind, I thought they wanted to send them somewhere,” she said.

Instead, the neighbours were bearing news that shocked Rantšo. They told her that four children from the village had been admitted at Berea Hospital after they ate poisoned food at a dumpsite. Two had already died and their bodies had been sent to different mortuaries.

Knowing they would come back home, she decided to leave them to play.
By evening, the two were not yet back. She was getting ready to prepare dinner when her neighbours arrived and asked about the whereabouts of the kids.
“In my mind, I thought they wanted to send them somewhere,” she said.

Instead, the neighbours were bearing news that shocked Rantšo. They told her that four children from the village had been admitted at Berea Hospital after they ate poisoned food at a dumpsite. Two had already died and their bodies had been sent to different mortuaries.
The dumpsite is about six kilometres from Lithabaneng.

Rantšo said her heart was ripped apart, but she decided to sleep that day because she hoped that the kids would return sometime in the night. Morning came and the children were not home as Rantšo had hoped.
Rantšo’s grandchildren were both attending school at Teya-Teyaneng LEC.

“They did not go to school that day because of the teachers’ strike,” said Rantšo, who lived alone with four of her grandchildren as the guardian while their mother works as a maid in South Africa. Two of her grandchildren did not join their siblings because they were left behind.

What hurts her most is that her grandchildren had never visited the dumpsite before that day despite the poverty ravaging the family.
When the family is able to buy paraffin they can cook on the paraffin stove but often cook on open fire outside.
Rantšo has three daughters and poverty forced two of them out of school.

She said she only managed to send her last born daughter to school and she graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree from the National University of Lesotho (NUL) through a government scholarship.
But she has not been able to secure a job since graduating and has joined her sisters in South Africa to work as a maid.

The mother of the deceased children, Limakatso Rantšo, 30, said she was in Johannesburg on her new job when she received the news of the deaths.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli confirmed that two children died after eating contaminated food at the dumpsite between Teyateyaneng and Ha Ramachini.
Superintendent Mopeli said the kids who were at the dumpsite were chased away by three women who were collecting cans. He said however one died before he could reach home and hir sibling died not long after.

’Makhotso Rakotsoane

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