Three brothers dead, fourth critical after energy drink given to them by father

Gauteng’s Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has expressed his devastation at the news of the tragic deaths of three boy learners - all siblings - who passed away on Thursday.

FILE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi inspected and closed two illegal schools in Ivory Park on 8 October 2020. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng’s Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has expressed his devastation at the news of the tragic deaths of three boy learners - all siblings - who passed away on Thursday morning.

Police are investigating the tragedy and what exactly led to the death of the boys aged 6, 13, and 16 from Ratanda.

The department says according to preliminary reports, it is alleged that the father of the boys gave five of his children energy drinks as they were preparing for school.

The boys were learners at Ratanda Primary and Khanya Lesedi Secondary Schools in Ratanda.

The learners died at school after complaining of stomach pains. One was rushed to the nearest hospital but died on the way. The fourth sibling is in a critical condition at the hospital.

The department’s spokesperson Steve Mabona says, fortunately, the fifth sibling did not consume the energy drink.

A police investigation is underway.