Boys die in penis hoax

Boys die in penis hoax

BUTHA-BUTHE – FOUR boys aged between 12 and 14 years could have fallen prey to a penis enlargement hoax and swallowed a pesticide that killed them in Pela-Tšoeu, Mokoallong last week Wednesday.
It is unclear how the boys came across the misleading information that phostoxin pellets, which are used to protect stored commodities from damage by insects and rodents, could enlarge their male organs.

Their parents heard before the boys died that they had taken the pellets to enhance the size of their manhood.
The fifth boy survived because he had not immediately taken his share of pellets but had decided to take them later in the evening after supper.

According to the grandmother of one of the boys, ’Marankolo Molibeli, village elders were shocked by the incident.
Molibeli said she didn’t get a chance to interrogate the surviving boy.
“I heard from the elders,” she said.

Molibeli said her grandson accompanied his four friends to deliver vegetables to a relative of one of the boys in the same village.
The aunt gave the nephew some pellets of phostoxin with instructions that he should give them to his mother. However, the boys immediately developed other interests in the pesticide.

“The boy invited his friends to join him near his homestead ground where they swallowed the pellets,” she said.
Molibeli said while they were taking the pellets, her grandson said they tasted bitter and asked his friend to bring them some water.
She said the boy who invited others to take the pellets started vomiting behind the house.
His sibling saw him and told their grandmother about the matter.
The grandmother tried to find out what was happening “but he said he ate a lot of peaches”.
The other four were a bit far from them at the time as they had already left for their respective homes, where three of them became sick and collapsed.

The surviving boy narrated the events leading to his friends’ condition to surprised parents.
One of the village women sniffed their mouths and announced that they smelled phostoxin.
The four boys were rushed to the nearest clinic.

“Two of them managed to say few words before they died at the clinic,” Molibeli said, adding: “My grandson died on our way to the hospital and we learnt that the fourth one died the following day.”
The children will be laid to rest on the same day, yet to be announced at Mokoallong Primary School.
Chieftainess of Mokoallong, ’Mamatete Nkhasi, described the incident as “a devastating experience” for the families and the village as a whole.

“It is a lesson to other children,” she said.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s Research Officer under Plant Protection Department, Motlatsi Molatela, said phostoxin is poisonous hence it is always advised that it is kept out of reach for children.
He said it is usually stored in storerooms.

“We do not expect one to put it in a sleeping room due to its high acute inhalation toxicity,” Molatela said.
He said in cases of people inhaling it, “it leads to severe consequences hence one should consult the nearest health centre for medical attention as soon as possible”.

He said the chances of survival for people who swallow it are very slim as “it affects the respiratory system”.
He said parents should never give children these pellets under any circumstance.
In South Africa, the sale of phostoxin is strictly controlled and requires entry into the Poisons Register.
To buy phostoxin, one needs to have either professional pest control training (for PCOs) or a DEFRA Agricultural Holding (CPH) Number (for professional agricultural use).

Proof of training in the correct and safe use of aluminium phosphide is required.
It should only be used by professional trained operators.

’Mapule Motsopa

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