SEVEN Zimbabweans based in South Africa reportedly died after drinking alcohol suspected to have been poisoned, CITE has learnt.
The deceased, all-male, are believed to be from Chisawu village under VillageHead Magaya in Binga.
In July, the South African government banned the sale of alcohol for the second time to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
However, this has given rise to illegal vendors who continue to sell alcoholic beverages despite the ban.
South Africa`s total infections are 563,598 while deaths from the respiratory disease are 10,621.
Narrating the ordeal to CITE, Takesure Ndlovu, a cousin to one of the deceased said the group had bought alcohol from a supplier last week Wednesday.
“They bought alcohol in Booysens last week Wednesday and they took some to Doornfontein, by day end most of them were rushed to Hospital after falling sick,” said Ndlovu.
“Unfortunately some did not make while others are still hospitalised.”
Reason Tshuma, who is a relative of one of the deceased, said they suspect the beer could have been laced with poison.
“Bottle stores are not selling alcohol because of these lockdown regulations. We understand that there is one guy who has been bringing beer and these guys bought from him,” said Tshuma
“Some of the deceased are members of the same family, they were living in the same house due to the lockdown restrictions,” said Tshuma. “
Zimbabwe Community in South Africa Spokesperson, Bongani Mazwi Mkhwananzi said they were saddened by the tragic incident.
“As the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, we are deeply saddened by the loss of seven people who died after drinking alcohol bought from some illegal vendor,” said Mkhwananzi.
“We have made contact with funeral undertakers and are engaging the Consulate to see how these families can be assisted. One family lost four members and this is very tragic,” he said.
“We take this opportunity to plead with all our compatriots to adhere to lockdown regulations and refrain from purchasing restricted goods via backdoor channels since their safety is evidently not guaranteed.
Mkhwananzi appealed with well-wishers to assist with funds to repatriate the deceased for burial in Zimbabwe.