Around 90 learners from Pulamadibogo Primary School in Soshanguve, Tshwane, were swiftly taken to local medical facilities due to symptoms like nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting.
These symptoms were reportedly linked to the alleged consumption of space cookies.
Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona stated that learners from Grade R to Grade 7 appeared to have ingested muffins suspected to be laced with dagga (space cookies), which they purchased from a street vendor on their way to school.
Teachers noticed unusual behavior among the learners in class, prompting them to call for emergency assistance.
“All 90 affected learners received immediate attention from emergency services on school premises. However, they were subsequently transported to various medical facilities for ongoing monitoring of their condition,” Mabona explained.
The incident raised concerns among parents, leading to a visit by the police to the school.
The street vendor responsible for selling the suspected cookies was identified, and law enforcement agencies will conduct an investigation into the matter.
Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane has expressed “concern” about the incident on Wednesday.
“Indeed, this is concerning for us, and we call for patience from parents while investigations are under way and learners are recovering,” said Chiloane.
“We implore learners to be vigilant of what they purchase and consume and cautious of who they purchase food from. We wish all affected learners a speedy recovery.”
In June, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng demanded the establishment of proper vetting processes to keep cookies laced with drugs out of school grounds.
This followed an incident where eight learners from Emfundisweni Primary School in Alexandra were admitted to Edenvale Hospital after eating space cookies sold to them by a vendor stationed outside the school premises.