Family are demanding answers
A PUPIL is recovering in hospital after eating muffins laced with marijuana at her high school in Orange Farm.
The girl, who cannot be named as she is a minor, and about 20 other pupils at Siyaphambili High School in Orange Farm landed in hospital nearly two weeks ago after eating the drug-laced muffins, popularly known as space cookies.
The pupils bought the baked goods from an 18-year-old Grade 12 pupil.
The uncle of the girl who is in hospital said his niece collapsed at school after eating the muffins.
“This is unacceptable. My niece collapsed and was in the ICU because of the poisoning. She said she got the muffins from her friend who bought them from another learner,” he said.
The girl was moved from the ICU on Wednesday but remains under observation in hospital.
The uncle said the family demands that action be taken against the pupils who sold the space cookies.
Gauteng Education Department spokesman Steve Mabona said they would do just that.
“The involved learner has since been suspended. It must also be noted that the alleged perpetrator is a Grade 12 learner at the school and he will continue to receive access to education,” he said.
Mabona said his parents have also been called in for intervention.
The girl’s family opened a case of attempted murder against the boy.
Counselling will be offered to the pupils as well.
DA shadow education MEC Khume Ramulifho said: “It is extremely worrying that children could have been exposed to this in a space that is supposed to be safe, where parents send their children, believing they will be looked after and out of harm’s way.”
Ramulifho urged an investigation into the matter and stricter measures to keep drugs out of schools.
Mabona admitted that discipline is one of the biggest problems in schools.
“The MEC (Panyaza Lesufi) wants cases such as school-based violence, gangsterism, drug abuse, cyber bullying and other related serious misdemeanours to be expedited, as well as to ensure that the department is proactive in identifying preventative strategies to eliminate these social ills from schools,” he said.
Mabona said the department was not only interested in assisting the victims, but also the alleged muffin seller. He said psychosocial support for him would also be provided to ensure he does not get involved in drugs again.