A 42-year-old father has been arrested for allegedly poisoning his three children and a neighbour’s son at Magcakeni locality, Libode, in the Eastern Cape.
Police said that preliminary reports indicated that the parents of the three children were not on good terms but a full investigation is under way to determine why the children were allegedly poisoned.
“According to information, three of the children were in the care of a neighbour as their mother had left for Cape Town. The father of the children arrived at the neighbour’s homestead in the afternoon [of May 22] and gave the children chocolate sweets which are suspected to have been poisoned with a Tank-Pill,” Brig Tembinkosi Kinana said in a statement.
The boys, aged between four and eight, were rushed to a nearby hospital, after becoming ill.
“Reports indicate that one of the boys died on the way to the hospital, while another succumbed to death while receiving medical treatment in the hospital,” said Kinana.
“The five-year-old who is reported to be a neighbour’s child was discharged in a stable condition, while the third … of the three boys remains under close monitoring of the hospital due to his serious condition.”
“The suspect must be made to see his day in court, so that he can account for his horrendous actions,” said acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Andre Swart.
The man is due to appear in court to face charges of murder and attempted murder on Monday.