Six dead, 3 hospitalised after beer poisoning in Joburg

By Enrico Maduba-Mnoko

JOHANNESBURG: Six male relatives from Binga, have died while three others are in a serious condition at Johannesburg hospital, in South Africa, after they unknowingly, consumed alcohol with poison.

According to Mr Robson Mudzovera who spoke on behalf of the family, said some of those  who died include.     Simukai Ngwenya from Snagande area, Jelousy Mleya from maNdimoni, Kumbulani Tshuma from aNjurudhungu, and Takoniwa Tshuma from Lupane,

Mr Mudzovera, said the first victim died on Saturday morning then on that same day in the evening, the other two also died. He said the following day, they received a report that two more have died. The sixth one died yesterday morning while three are still n hospital.

“We are being told that the person who was selling this beer, is said to have been stealing it from somewhere, however, we do not know who he is or his wherebouts” he said.

Some of those who also drank the beer, Oliver Tshuma and Nqobizita Mleya, have all recovered but their other relative, Tandowenkosi Sibanda, is still in hospital.

Oliver also lost his father, so as one other guy who refused to be named.

They said their fathers complained of stomach pains before they died’

Oliver also said some of those who who drank the poison were never treated when they were taken to the hospital. The officials were said to be  demanding that they produce their ID papers.

However, he said  they were now surviving on traditional medicine.

Lovemore Ndlovu, who comes from Snamagonde village in Binga, and a brother to Simukai, said the family has no money to transport these bodies home for burial and therefore he was now appealing for any well-wisher to help both financially or materially.

Mr Madzovera said some of those who died, were on the waiting list to be repatriated to Zimbabwe with the help of the Zimbabwean embassy. But, he said the embassy promised them some months ago, and nothing has been done.

He said had they been repatriated, may be this thing could not have happened to them.

Zimbabwe consular general for Johannesburg, Mrs Melody Chaurura, told the family that “This was a tragedy. I am so sorry about the development. The normal procedure is that relatives of the deceased engage a funeral parlour of their choice and arrange for burial. We are always available to assist with repatriation clearances should the family make a decision to bury the deceased in Zimbabwe,” she

Mrs Chaurura said that there was nothing the Zimbabwean Embassy could do to help them financially since there is no budget for repatriation at this point. She said funeral costs are met by the relatives of the deceased however the embassy can only assist with repatriation documents.

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